ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. Silk Road 3 is up and running with a big selection of goods.
As the Department of Justice at Middle District of Florida announced “federal jury has found Andrew Pieters (30, Orlando) guilty of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and attempting to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance.” Pieters will be serving the maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.
Who is Andrew Pieters?
Andrew Pieters, a former vendor on the Silk Road marketplace was arrested in January 9th, 2015.
Evidence suggests that Pieters was, not only selling drugs at the online black market, but out on the streets, too. Apparently, the former Silk Road vendor was a top-level distributor of methylone in central Florida.
Methylone (street name – molly), is basically a club drug; similar to ecstasy, it has much more sever health risks. Molly is a Schedule I controlled substance that causes overheating, dehydration, and even death.
According to evidence, the drug that Andrew Pieters, aka Drew, was selling between January and August 2013 had been imported from China and purchased through Silk Road, a well-known online drug marketplace. The Silk Road had been shut down in October 2013, and its founder, Ross Ulbricht, sentenced to a lifetime in prison, earlier this year.
But, back to Pieters – according to some sources, he was already known to the police; the trouble was that they were unable to gather enough evidence against him to make the case. Pieters was a longtime suspect of the DEA, but since selling drugs on the Silk Road marketplace was anonymous, they had some trouble identifying him.
After the shutdown of the Silk Road, Pieters was forced to move his business out to the streets, where an entirely different set of rules applied. Leaving behind the security that the online trading provided, Pieters was completely unaware of the street rules. If he had been, he would’ve been more cautious. Luckily for the DEA, an informer recognized him as the top-level seller on the streets, so they made a plan to catch him red-handed.
The whole operation of catching the former Silk Road vendor was thoroughly planned by the Special DEA Agent, Schappert.
The DEA started an investigation on him in November 2014 in cooperation with the informer, who was actually a former convict. Apparently, the informer identified Andrew Pieters as a person who could receive and sell a kilo of methylone to prospective buyers within a week.
In December 2014, the informer, working closely with the DEA, negotiated the sale of 2 kilos of methylone. The call was, however, recorded.
Pieters met with the informer first time in January 2015, when they arranged the trade. What Pieters wasn’t aware of was that his future client was thoroughly wired and the whole conversation was recorded. Pieters was clearly heard to say that he already had a buyer, meaning that he was acting as a middleman in this particular trade. Pieters agreed to receive 2 kilos of methylone and deliver it to the buyer; he was also heard to say how this time he’s willing to do it without commission, but that he will demand some percentage of the next deal.
The DEA in cooperation with the local detectives, made a plan to provide the informer with 2 kilos of fake methylone to take it to Pieters. Fake drug was packaged in the US Postal Service Box. Informer and Pieters met again at the Millenia Place apartments located at 5215 Blvd., Orlando, Florida.
Packed with video and audio recording equipment, the informer parked his car on the arranged address and waited for Pieters; while the DEA agent and detectives stayed just behind, within the transmission range.
When Pieters arrived in his BMW, the informer took the 2 kilos of drugs and joined Pieters in his car. Soon after he was arrested.
According to the DEA agent, Pieters refused to provide the name of his buyer, who allegedly canceled the buyout just before the arranged meeting; apparently, the former Silk Road vendor intended to sell the drug for his own gain, since the street value of a kilogram of molly was around $11,000.
Department of Justice confirmed that “prior to his arrest, Pieters had planned to distribute at least a kilogram per week of methylone in central Florida.”
Andrew ‘Drew’ Pieters faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison, for the attempt to possess and distribute illegal drug called methylone.
His sentence hearing is scheduled for December 10, 2015.