BOSTON – A man from Brockton has pleaded guilty in federal court to manufacturing drugs in Stoughton and selling drugs through the dark web.
Binh Thanh Le, 25, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with the intent to distribute ketamine, methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) – commonly known as ecstasy – and Xanax.
U.S. District Court Senior Judge Rya W. Zobel has set the sentence for January 19, 2022.
The and two other co-defendants, Steven McCall and Allante Pires, were indicted in June 2019 by a federal court following their arrest in March of the same year after detectives executed a federal search warrant at 1749 Central St. , a commercial storage space rented from Stoughton. .
The investigation began in June 2018 when a US postal inspector launched a criminal investigation into the activities of several people, including Le, McCall and Pires, and their involvement in receiving, manufacturing and distributing drugs on the Internet. , according to a filed affidavit. in United States District Court.
Throughout the investigation, police said they learned that the men would send and receive boxes and envelopes containing drugs to post offices in the area, including Canton, Easton, Rockland, West Bridgewater and Whitman. .
On the day the search warrant was executed in March 2019, investigators arranged a meeting with Le to buy him Bitcoin (a form of electronic money) in exchange for US money, the affidavit states. The representative for EastSideHigh, a seller using the Wall Street Market website on the dark web (which are websites that are generally encrypted and cannot be searched by traditional methods), had contacted an undercover agent wishing to trade 150 $ 000 worth of Bitcoin it states.
Investigators set up a meeting at the Hampton Inn in Norwood on March 27, 2019. Detectives were monitoring the storage unit in Stoughton and said they saw Pires, driving his black Mercedes sedan, pull up at the storage unit. with the. They both entered the building, then got out, got into the Mercedes, and drove off.
The men were followed by investigators to the Norwood hotel.
“The (undercover) and Le eventually agreed to trade $ 200,000 worth of Bitcoin, instead of the previously agreed amount of $ 175,000,” the affidavit states. “Le used his cell phone to access his Bitcoin wallet and electronically transferred $ 200,000 worth of Bitcoin to a secret Bitcoin wallet.”
Police then entered the room, arrested Le and seized his phone, while transferring the remaining amount from his Bitcoin account to a secret wallet while they had access to the account, the affidavit states.
Police then arrested Pires outside the hotel and detectives simultaneously executed the search warrant in the Stoughton storage unit.
The third man, McCall, was seen exiting through a door separate from the one entered by investigators and was found wearing latex gloves and a mask, which police said indicated he was in the process of making drugs, states the affidavit.
In total, police said they seized more than 24 pounds of the drug – 6,200 grams of ecstasy and 5,000 grams of ketamine.
The affidavit states that the three men were seen coming and going from the storage unit on several occasions, leading investigators to believe that they “knowingly conspired with each other and with other known and unknown people. to manufacture, distribute and possess with the intention of distributing “ecstasy and ketamine.
McCall and Pires have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.
Enterprise senior reporter Cody Shepard can be contacted by email at [email protected] You can follow him on Twitter at @cshepard_ENT. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Enterprise today.