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Published on May 21, 2024
Orange County Man Sentenced to 14 Years for Trafficking Fentanyl and Meth on Dark WebSource: U.S. Attorney's Office

An Orange County man has been slammed with a 168-month prison sentence for his role in a drug trafficking operation that peddled lethal substances like methamphetamine and fentanyl through the dark corners of the internet. Tenzin Orgil, 24, was handed down the sentence on May 17 by U.S. District Judge Kathleen M. Williams of the Southern District of Florida, after pleading guilty to the charges last July. The dark web, a hidden section of the internet only accessible using special software, allows users and operators to remain anonymous or untraceable.

Orgil was reportedly tied to multiple online personas and went by monikers such as iEUROPA, iUSA, iAMERICA, UNITEDAIRLINES, and SVR667, according to a statement obtained by the U.S. Attorney's Office. He's said to have efficiently used the U.S. to distribute drugs via Postal Service to customers nationwide, including South Florida. Undercover purchases by law enforcement amassed evidence, such as 2.54 grams of fentanyl disguised as oxycodone pills and over 4.9 kilograms of pure methamphetamine between 2020 and 2021.

The DEA has warned that synthetic drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine have led to the deadliest drug crisis in U.S. history. The first half of 2023 saw 38,000 American lives claimed by fentanyl alone, underpinning the gravity of the problem that Orgil contributed to. As stated by the U.S. Attorney's Office, just one tiny fentanyl-laced pill can prove fatal, and DEA testing reveals that seven out of ten pills seized contain a potentially lethal dose of the substance.

The unraveling of Orgil's illicit empire began with a traffic stop by Irvine Police in December 2022, where they discovered several chemicals used to make MDMA, and further investigations led to the discovery of a wealth of incriminating evidence. Law enforcement discovered photo evidence of narcotics, clandestine labs, and communication with Chinese chemical manufacturers, all of which aimed to dramatically increase his drug production capabilities. His arrest followed in January 2023, when searches turned up firearms, fake IDs, and detailed drug manufacturing recipes.

The breaking up of Orgil's operation was a concerted effort by a vast array of law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, DEA, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service, among others. They were all under the umbrella of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces program, which focuses on dismantling high-level criminal organizations that threaten the nation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Monique Botero, with Nicole Grosnoff handling asset forfeiture.

The HIDTA Task Force was also critical in the initiative, representing a partnership among federal, state, and local agencies to combat drug trafficking and related violence. These agencies work together to strategize and confront the opioid epidemic and other drug dangers, such as fentanyl and cocaine, which continue to be a significant threat to public safety in South Florida and beyond.

Miami-Crime & Emergencies