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Empire Market Vendor “NeverPressedRX” Busted With the Help of Coinbase

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A Maryland man has been arrested after federal prosecutors accused him of selling large-scale quantities of narcotics and other drugs over the internet.

William Burgamy, 32, of Hanover, Maryland, was arrested Thursday and charged with illegal distribution of controlled substances and money laundering in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia.

An FBI affidavit states Burgamy operated a business on the Darknet called NeverPressedRX that sold oxycodone and other narcotics over the internet without a prescription.

Court papers do not specify the volume of transactions, but show Burgamy regularly exchanged thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoin used in the purchases for U.S. currency.

Burgamy boasted on his vendor page late last month that, “Even with Corona Virus the shop is running at full speed.”

He told an undercover FBI agent he had a number of medications available, but was waiting for a shipment because the coronavirus outbreak had hurt his inventory, according to court documents.

Undercover FBI employees made multiple controlled purchases of drugs from the site, which were sent to addresses in northern Virginia, according to the affidavit.

The undercover FBI agent managed to expose Burgamy’s true identity thanks to a series of crypto-rookie errors. To start with, in the first of six undercover buys by an FBI agent, Burgamy allegedly provided a Bitcoin address for payment. He promptly sent the bitcoins from that address to an account he had opened with Coinbase. 

The San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange is known for robust Know Your Customer checks and adherence to regulations. Coinbase promptly handed over Burgamy’s personal email address, phone number, billing address, and a photo of his Maryland drivers license.

A second avenue investigators were able to follow was when Burgamy allegedly sent a mass email about price increases to his clients, including an undercover FBI agent. In it, he promised:  “We don’t f–k fuck around or play games, this is a business for us and we run it as a five-star business should be run.” 

While it came from an encrypted email account, Burgamy apparently used the marketing platform Mailchimp to send it—a fact that was visible in the email’s header.

Records obtained from Mailchimp indicated that it had an account belonging to “NPRX”—his company’s initials. To make matters worse, he failed to properly conceal his Comcast IP address when setting up the Mailchimp account. Comcast’s records matched Coinbase’s information.

After finding Burgamy’s address in Baltimore, investigators tailed the 32-year-old and allegedly spotted him heading to local post offices in his black Lexus to mail prescription drugs to feds masquerading as customers. Thousands of opioid pills were discovered when his property was searched as well as eight firearms—including two loaded AR-15 assault rifles, according to the FBI.

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia G. Zachary Terwilliger, whose office is prosecuting the case, praised officers in a written statement “for moving forward with this public safety investigation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic,”

Burgamy is being held pending an initial appearance scheduled for Friday. Online court records do not list an attorney for Burgamy.

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Written by C.F Frost


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