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Dark net, illegal drugs have ties to Northeast Ohio

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Posted at 5:40 PM, Apr 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-25 17:41:55-04

CLEVELAND — Two Canadian men have been indicted for their roles in a conspiracy to sell carfentanil, fentanyl, heroin and other drugs over the internet then ship the drugs to locations around the world including in Northeast Ohio.

34-year-old Robert Mitrache of Chateauguay and 30-year-old Louis-Vincent Bourcier of Mercier are named in the 10-count indictment.

“It’s part of a larger operation we’ve had in the district for several years now called Operation Darkness Falls,” said US Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio Justin Herdman.

“What we are doing is focusing on vendors on the dark net. Vendors who are selling all sorts of illegal substances,” said Herdman.

“We used a number of different techniques to identify where they were selling,” said Herdman.

Mitrache and Bourcier are already serving time in Canada.

“In this case, the two individuals who are running a vendor website called Pharmaphil,” said Herdman.

It was an online storefront, according to prosecutors, that was dealing drugs worldwide. Canadian police raided the clandestine lab putting it out of business. “There are a million doses of fentanyl and carfentanil they were responsible for selling,” said Herdman

“The charges against these defendants should make it abundantly clear that those who distribute deadly drugs via the darknet are not out of reach of law enforcement,” said Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Steve Francis.

“Battling the distribution of synthetic opioids in the U.S. is one for the Postal Inspection Service’s highest priorities,” said U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Inspector in Charge Tommy Coke.

“These two defendants believed that by utilizing the dark web and sophisticated cyber techniques their dangerous, world wide drug dealing would go undetected by law enforcement. They were wrong,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric Smith.