FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2018
Kraig Troxell, Media Relations and Communications Manager, 703-771-5278
Alex Kowalski, Public Information Officer, 703-777-0625
Loudoun County, VA – Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman reacted today to the sentencing of a “Darknet” narcotics distributor who sold synthetic drugs leading to the fatal overdose of a Virginia woman which directly impacted this agency.
In February 2017, the 25-year-old victim and daughter of a Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office employee, traveled to Florida where she suffered a fatal overdose after a purchase was made of one gram of Tetrahydrofuran fentanyl (a synthetic analogue of fentanyl) from the internet. After learning of the death from staff, Sheriff Chapman contacted the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Orlando office as well as the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in order investigate the source of the supply. In an effort led by DEA that included numerous agencies*, the suspect, Jeremy Achey, 43, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was identified, arrested and charged with narcotics conspiracy and distribution of controlled substance analogues.
“We will spare no effort to go after the people that distribute this poison throughout our community, especially when someone dies as a result,” said Sheriff Chapman. He added, “This painful scourge is impacting way too many families. I am pleased that through our strong law enforcement relationships we are able to hold these deadly drug dealers accountable.”
According to a press release issued today by the United States Attorney’s Office of the Middle District of Florida, testimony presented at trial identified Achey, operating under the name “EtiKing,” as one of the largest synthetic drug distributors on Alphabay Market, a “Darknet” marketplace for illicit substances. Achey used the U.S. Mail to distribute thousands of packages containing numerous synthetic drugs to hundreds of customers throughout the United States.
Achey was sentenced to life in federal prison April 27, 2018, after a jury found him guilty of the offenses earlier this year. This trial was the first time a federal death case for narcotics conspiracy and distribution of controlled substance analogues was successfully prosecuted by the Middle District of Florida.
“Today’s sentence underscores the severity of these crimes, and their lethal consequences,” said U.S. Attorney Chapa Lopez. “Combating such crimes remain a top priority of our office. We will continue to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”
“The sentence delivered today illustrates the dangers of illicit drugs mixed with fentanyl,” said Adolphus P. Wright, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA, Miami Field Division. “Let me be clear to all those who feel safe hiding behind the dark web to dispense lethal drugs, you will eventually pay a high price for your actions.”
*This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, with assistance from the Pennsylvania State Police, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Loudoun County (Virginia) Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nathan W. Hill.