Empire Vendor “addy4cheap” Busted
this month, a man in Alexandria, VA pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine. Dan Nguyen sold under the name “addy4cheap” on Empire Market and Cryptonia Market.
From about May 2019 through about Nov. 4, 2019, Dat Nguyen conspired to distribute peach tablets advertised as Adderall, but in fact containing methamphetamine, nationwide through the U.S. mail. Nguyen used the moniker “addy4cheap” on darknet markets, the Empire Market and Cryptonia. Between August 2019 and December 2019, law enforcement agents conducted 20 controlled purchases from “addy4cheap” on both markets for a total of 767 peach tablets received weighing approximately 268 grams total.
According to a court document detailing the extent of the methamphetamine trafficking operation:
To avoid detection, the defendant’s co-conspirators mailed drug parcels that did not have their true names and addresses listed as the return information, deposited those parcels at various United States Parcel Service (“U.S.P.S.”) collection boxes in the Eastern District of Virginia, handled packages in a manner to avoid leaving fingerprints, and operated in the late evening or early morning hours. Packages mailed by the defendant’s co-conspirators resembled those obtained through controlled purchases made by law enforcement through “addy4cheap.”
On Dec. 9, 2019, search warrants were executed at co-conspirators’ residences including the home of Lien Kim Thi Phan and Tyler Pham and the home of Hon Lam Luk. In the home of Phan and Pham, agents found 95 peach tablets, and in Luk’s residence, investigators found over 6,000 peach tablets weighing approximately 2.2 kilograms, all of which resembled those advertised on “addy4cheap” and those received by law enforcement through controlled purchases.
As of Dec. 10, 2019, “addy4cheap” had completed 3,665 sales on the Empire Market and received 2,568 reviews. Based on these reviews, “addy4cheap” had received approximately $482,572.10 in sales for an approximate 44,872 pills sold. As of Nov. 7, 2019, “addy4cheap” had fulfilled 140 transactions on Cryptonia.
Nguyen’s five co-conspirators all previously entered guilty pleas in connection with the conspiracy. One co-conspirator remains a fugitive.
Nguyen is scheduled to be sentenced on March 23, 2021. He faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.