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Seasoned Dark Web Vendor ‘H00k3d’ has his Sentencing Sealed But Why?

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A Utica man who pleaded guilty in May to selling over $1.2 million in narcotics and counterfeit currency on the dark-web was scheduled to be sentenced this week. But information about that sentencing is now sealed from the public eye.

Albie Pagan pleaded guilty to distribution of controlled substances and selling counterfeit currency May 11 in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. He was scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday, according to court documents.

From October 2016 to February 2021, Pagan sold counterfeit bills and prescription medications like opioids under the moniker H00k3d on dark-web sites, according to the federal Department of Justice.

Prosecutors on Aug. 17 asked for Pagan to be sentenced to a little over seven years in prison, according to court documents.

On that same date, Pagan filed a motion to seal information about his sentencing, arguing the documents in his sentencing memorandum contained personal information whose need to be protected outweighed the public’s right to access.

The court granted that motion, and a sentencing memorandum filed Aug. 18 was sealed.

In their sentencing report, prosecutors said 65-year-old Pagan had no criminal history before this, grew up in a stable family and had regular employment until 2009, owning a bar from 1989 to 2009.

“He had ample opportunity to pursue legitimate professional ends, but instead, he succumbed to the lure of quick and easy money selling highly addictive pills and counterfeit U.S. currency,” prosecutors stated in their report.

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Written by Kofi Anash

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