Arrested Silk Road Dealer Pleads Guilty To Drug Dealing

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Silk Road MarketplaceDavid Lawrence Handel, age 26, of Columbus, Ohio has pleaded guilty to dealing drugs through Silkroad website, an online black market for users to sell as well as buy false identifications, narcotics and other contraband online.


According to Handel’s plea agreement, he contacted buyers of methylone, and other drugs through Silkroad. Handel accepted to receive payment electronically through Silkroad and shipped the drugs through the United States Postal Service to his customers in Maryland, throughout U.S. and in other countries.

In 2012, federal agents in Maryland who were assigned to an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) made a few undercover drug purchases on Silkroad, including methylone, from David Lawrence Handel, who then shipped the drugs to Maryland.

He is one of a few drug dealers that federal agents were carefully watching before Silkroad was shut down in 2013.

On August 21, 2012, United States Customs and Border Protection intercepted a package containing synthetic drugs that came from China and was addressed to David Lawrence Handel in Columbus, Ohio. Handel picked up the package the following day from his local post office then was arrested by federal agents as he left the post office with the synthetic drugs. Handel also had a Glock pistol strapped to his ankle then another firearm inside his car. Federal agents also recovered additional drugs that included more than six hundred grams of methylone from his apartment, as well as3 more firearms.

ArrestWhen he was arrested, Handel confessed to being a well-established drug dealer on Silkroad. He admitted purchasing synthetic drugs from his supplier in China, and having them shipped to him through U.S. mail. Handel also admitted that he spent $ 4,800 on his recent shipment from China which he intended to sell to buyers on Silkroad.

Handel faces up to twenty years in prison for trafficking drugs; and a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of life in prison for carrying as well as using a firearm in relation to trafficking drugs. Chief United States District Judge Catherine C. Blake scheduled Handel’s sentencing for May 15, 2015 at 12:00 p.m.