On January 5, 2017, a federal jury found Julian Villa-Gomez Lemus (31) of Visalia, California, guilty of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances on the internet. In the past week, his co-defendants Fadhle Muqbel Saeed (31) and Alfonso Bojorquez-Vazquez (30), both of Porterville, California pleaded guilty to related charges of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances on the internet. Each faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. Sentencing hearings are scheduled for March 23, 2017. The individuals were indicted on May 11, 2016.
Evidence presented at trial showed between May 2012 and October 2013, Saeed, Villa-Gomez Lemus, and Bojorquez-Vazquez were involved in a conspiracy to distribute drugs over the Internet using illicit online drug marketplaces such as “Silk Road.” Payment for these transactions was made using “Bitcoin”, a semi-anonymous electronic form of payment.
Members of the conspiracy used the pseudonym “darkexpresso” to conduct over 1,300 Silk Road drug transactions, resulting in gross proceeds of more than $1.9 million. These transactions included methamphetamine, hydrocodone, marijuana, steroids, cocaine, and other controlled substances. The drugs were sent to purchasers throughout the United States and Australia.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration Central Florida Region Office and the United States Postal Inspection Service, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Office in the Middle District of Florida.