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Original SilkRoad Vendor From California “Xanax King” Arrested For Selling Fake Xanax on Empire Market

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A Martinez man on supervised release for a 2015 conviction for manufacturing and selling pills designed to look like Xanax was charged yesterday with producing counterfeit drugs containing the same active ingredient as Xanax out of a Concord warehouse, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release.

Jeremy Donagal, 41, also known as the Xanax King, or XK, was charged with selling the counterfeit pills on the dark web — a segment of the internet that requires specialized software to access and which can grant users greater anonymity. Donagal had signed a lease in December 2018 for a Concord warehouse where he allegedly had ” multiple pill presses, plastic trays with punches and dies in them, thousands of pressed tablets, packaging and shipping materials, and other equipment consistent with a mail-order business,” according to the news release.

Donagal was allegedly manufacturing and selling generic alprazolam pills, which contain the same active ingredient as Xanax, an anti-anxiety medication.

According to the criminal complaint, Donagal was manufacturing the alprazolam pills and using the same markings as Sandoz Inc., one of the largest drug makers in the country, which recently agreed to plead guilty in an anti-trust and price-fixing scheme.

Donagal had been released in June 2018 from his 2015 conviction, the sentence for which included three years of supervised release. He was arrested inside his Concord warehouse Thursday.

On Friday, the government also filed a motion to revoke his release, saying he began setting up a counterfeit drug manufacturing operation almost as soon as he was released from prison.

“He set up a laboratory and pill press operation to manufacture the counterfeit pills, and he established a dark web vendor site to sell the pills nationwide,” the motion reads. “He also established vendor pages on dark web criminal marketplaces like Samsara and Empire.”

In 2014, Donagal and five others were arrested throughout Contra Costa County and accused of manufacturing counterfeit Xanax, a trademark of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc., as well as other charges including money laundering for wire transfers he allegedly sent to China — charges that could have lead to up to 50 years in federal prison.

Donagal made his first federal court appearance on Friday. He faces up to four years in prison and one year of supervised release for the charge of possessing equipment to produce counterfeit drugs, and three years in prison and one year of supervised release for the charge of counterfeit drug manufacturing and sale.

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