Three Orange County residents face charges of distributing the powerful narcotic painkiller Fentanyl and counterfeit opioids through the dark web and U.S. mail, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.
Wyatt Pasek, 21, of Santa Ana, Isaiah Suarez, 22, of Newport Beach, and Duc Cao, 20, of Orange, were arrested Tuesday, after warrants were served at their homes, and charged Wednesday, according to Thom Mrozek of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Authorities seized a pill press lab in Suarez’s apartment and about 6 1/2 pounds of what investigators suspect is counterfeit oxycodone and Xanax and nearly 10 pounds of white and blue powders that are being tested, Mrozek said.
Authorities seized 13,000 pills suspected to be counterfeit oxycodone and bundles of cash from Pasek’s residence, Mrozek said.
The three were caught following a six-month investigation led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Costa Mesa police.
Investigators suspect that from about Dec. 11 through March 20, the defendants made a profit of $189,599.68 in bitcoin from the alleged clandestine online drug shop, according to an affidavit prepared by DEA Special Agent Lindsey Bellomy.