A New York Man was sentenced to 96 years in prison after admitting he ran an international drug trafficking operation that manufactured and distributed large quantities of steroids through the dark web.
According to court documents, 32-year-old James Charles Rivera and his co-conspirators distributed a variety of anabolic steroids including, Anadrol, Testosterone, Mesterolone, Halotestin, and others worldwide under the moniker, “JuicePal.”
In addition to using the dark web, Rivera distributed the steroids through encrypted communications platforms and accepted payments in both crypto and cash.
Rivera who was living in the UK ordered steroids powders and other materials used for the production and distribution of steroids from China and had them shipped to his accomplices in the US.
After receiving orders from buyers, Rivera forwarded the order details to his accomplices. His accomplices manufactured the drugs and processed the orders according to his instructions. Buyers that paid by cash mailed it to Rivera’s co-conspirators after receiving the drug packages. They would keep their cut and send the rest to Rivera.
The drug trafficking operation was ended by the defendant’s arrest on December 10, 2021, by HSI agents at the John F. Kennedy International Airport.
He pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments in February 2023. In his plea agreement, Rivera admitted he and his accomplices processed thousands of orders from 2018 to late 2021. They reportedly received a total of at least 450.974 bitcoins from the sales.
In addition to the eight-year prison sentence, Rivera agreed to forfeit all the cryptocurrencies seized following his arrest.