Federal authorities said on Friday that two Sacramento-area women, including a registered nurse, are among the latest to be charged for selling illegal drugs on the darknet, encrypted websites that traffic in illegal items.
The nurse, Alaine Markis, 42, of Rancho Cordova, faces distribution and conspiracy charges for allegedly selling fentanyl and oxycodone. She is accused of selling more than 20,000 prescription opioid pills online. Andrea Jordan, 52, of Elk Grove was also arrested for allegedly buying legitimate pill and patch prescriptions and then selling them to Markis as supply for the darknet.
“These modern-day drug dealers may think that technology may protect their identities,”
U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott said at a news conference in Sacramento, “but they will be investigated, uncovered and prosecuted by law enforcement using the very same technology right back against them.”
A defense attorney for Markis could not be reached. Todd Leras, attorney for Jordan, said he had only just received the indictment on Friday and could not yet comment.
Since September, the Northern California Illicit Digital Economy task force has arrested 14 people and confiscated more than $400,000 in cash and nearly $2 million in cryptocurrency, according to a news release from the Office of the U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of California. Authorities said cryptocurrency is often used on illegal darknet websites.
Scott said the operators of the illegal darknet websites had also been charged.
He said “an ever-increasing amount” of illegal drug sales take place on the darknet. He said he couldn’t estimate exactly how much. “We’re evolving. We’re moving to where the threat is now coming from.”
CapRadio provides a trusted source of news because of you. As a nonprofit organization, donations from people like you sustain the journalism that allows us to discover stories that are important to our audience. If you believe in what we do and support our mission, please donate today.