BOSTON – A Massachusetts man was sentenced in federal court in Boston for his role in a highly sophisticated drug trafficking operation that manufactured and distributed a multitude of controlled substances using the Dark Web.
Allante Pires, 25, of Brockton, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel to 28 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Pires was also ordered to forfeit a 2013 Mercedes E sedan. The government recommended a sentence of 70 months in prison. On June 2, 2022, Pires pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, Ketamine and Alprazolam (Xanax).
Pires was indicted in June 2019 along with co-conspirators Binh Thanh Le and Steven McCall. Le, who was the ringleader of the drug-trafficking operation, created and operated a vendor site called “EastSideHigh” in markets on the Dark Network, more commonly known as the Dark Web. The Dark Web is any portion of the internet that can only be accessed with specific software, configurations or authorization that anonymize internet traffic. Le used these Dark Web markets to advertise various drugs for sale, including cocaine, MDMA, Ketamine and Xanax. Le ordered and received wholesale quantities of the drugs he and the others were distributing in the mail, principally from foreign sources in Canada and Europe. Le, Pires and McCall then processed and manufactured those controlled substances at an office space Le rented in Stoughton. After receiving the orders and payment via Bitcoin, the men mailed the drugs to customers throughout the United States.
Over 19 kilograms of MDMA, almost seven kilograms of Ketamine, nearly one kilogram of cocaine and more than 10,000 counterfeit Xanax pills were seized by authorities during the investigation. Investigators also recovered a computer with the “EastSideHigh” vendor page open, numerous packages containing MDMA and Ketamine, various shipping and packaging materials and a pill press from the office space in Stoughton.
On March 10, 2022, Le was sentenced to eight years in prison and three years of supervised release. Le was also ordered to forfeit more than 59 Bitcoin (representing a forfeiture in excess of $1.1 million), $114,680 in cash, $42,390 representing the proceeds from the sale of a 2018 BMW M3, along with other items including a pill press and currency counter. McCall pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy on June 28, 2022 and is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 28, 2022.
United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Ketty Larco-Ward, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Boston Division; Matthew B. Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge for the Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Norfolk County District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey; and Jennifer De La O, Director of Field Operations of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Boston Field Office made the announcement. Special assistance with the investigation was provided by the Homeland Security Investigations in Colorado; Postal Inspectors from around the country; and the Stoughton, Norwood and Brockton Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorney James E. Arnold of Rollins’ Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit prosecuted the case.