TAMPA - A Largo man has agreed to plead guilty to charges he imported MDMA, also known as Ecstasy and “Molly,” through an underground web site on which narcotics were bought and sold with the digital currency Bitcoin, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa announced Tuesday.
Angel William Quinones, 34, was accused of conspiring to distribute MDMA, a crime that could net him a sentence of up to 20 years in a federal prison.
Quinones is accused of using the Silk Road Web site to import at least 9,193 grams of MDMA from August 2012 through October 2013, when the Web site was shut down, according to federal prosecutors. The drug, from a Dutch supplier, was intended to be sold throughout the United States, they said.
Quinones used the names “UnderGroundSyndicate” and “BTCmaster” to sell drugs on Silk Road, federal prosecutors say. He used those two usernames and accounts to obtain MDMA from a Dutch supplier named Cornelis Jan Slomp.
Last month, federal prosecutors in Illinois charged Slump, 22, with conspiracy to distribute various controlled substances through Silk Road, including about 104 kilograms of MDMA, 566,000 Ecstasy pills, four kilograms of cocaine, three kilograms of Benzodiazepine, and substantial quantities of amphetamine, LSD, and marijuana.
Slomp pleaded guilty on May 8.
In August 2012, Slomp agreed to provide Quinones wholesale quantities of MDMA on credit, federal prosecutors say. Quinones, in turn, would sell the substances via Silk Road and split the proceeds with Slomp, they say.
Quinones acquired several post office boxes in Pinellas County, federal prosecutors say.
In addition, Slomp sent Quinones Bitcoins generated from Silk Road drug transactions to be converted into cash. Slomp also agreed that Quinones would hold a portion of Slomp’s proceed until Slomp was ready to retrieve them, the prosecutors say.
Slomp was arrested in August after traveling from the Netherlands to Miami to meet with Quinones and to transfer Slomp’s U.S.-based Silk Road operations, including his U.S. customers. Two months later, federal agents executed a search warrant at Quinones’ home at 1012 Breeze Drive, Largo, where they found approximately $157,580 in cash, documents and keys for the post office boxes rented for the UnderGroundSyndicate and BTCmaster accounts, federal prosecutors say.
Also found were spreadsheets associated with the UnderGroundSyndicate and BTCmaster accounts, which contained information on Silk Road customer orders and tracking information for parcels containing MDMA and drug proceeds, federal prosecutors say.
As part of his plea agreement, Quinones will allow the government to take what it says are illicit gains from the drug dealing enterprise, including the $157,580 in cash, a 2012 Nissan Titan, a 2012 Nissan Sentra, a Sig Sauer model M400 rifle, two pistols, roughly 130 rounds of ammunition, two lap top computers, a desk top computer, four cell phones, two iPods, a computer tablet, and various hard drives and thumb drivers, court papers say.
Quinones’ sentencing date has not been set.
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