Investigators Shut Down Websites Allegedly Selling Fentanyl, Meth Across US

A team of investigators led by special agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Philadelphia have busted four websites allegedly linked to the sales of fake pharmaceutical drugs that contain methamphetamine and fentanyl and were distributed across the United States, the agency announced Tuesday.

The suspected domain servers have now been seized from operating on the internet, according to a statement from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The law enforcement agency placed a ban on the unnamed four websites following legal clearance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.

Although ICE did not name the domain servers complicit in the drug trafficking, anyone trying to browse their websites would encounter the banner announcing the seizure.

The banner showing seizure of websites merchandizing fake drugs with fentanyl and meth in the U.S. (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

The investigation also involved international collaboration with the National Police Force of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and HSI agents in Brussels, Belgium. Other national team members included the HSI Los Angeles and Seattle field offices. (RELATED: REPORT: El Chapo’s Son Pleads Not Guilty To Drug Charges In US Court)

“HSI’s global reach through seamless coordination with our international law enforcement partners, coupled with the dedicated efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has made this possible,” said Special Agent in Charge of HSI Philadelphia William S. Walker. “Investigations like these can only be accomplished when teams of laser-focused investigators and prosecutors work hand-in-hand.”

This latest seizure of domains is part of a large network of investigations to clamp down on pharmaceutical drug syndicates penetrating the U.S. market. HSI are also assisted by other law enforcement agencies like the Liberty Mid-Atlantic High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center).

The drug enforcement administration’s administrator, Anne Milgram, declared in November 2022 that fentanyl is the single deadliest drug threat the U.S. has ever encountered. Opioids such as fentanyl and meth were involved in 80,411 deaths in 2021, constituting 75.4% of all drug overdose deaths, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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