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    4 men arrested for allegedly selling fentanyl, cocaine on dark web

    By Jas Kang,


    The United States Department of Justice announced four men have been arrested for allegedly selling fentanyl pills and cocaine on the dark web.

    Authorities say Southern California natives, 21-year-old Alejandro Soto, and 21-year-old Austin Blanco, both from Burbank, and Las Vegas residents, 23-year-old Craig Rushton, and 20-year-old Christian McKibben have all been charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and cocaine, two counts of distribution of fentanyl, and one count of distribution of cocaine.

    The investigation began in April of 2021. The DOJ says the four men conspired with 23-year-old Van Nuys native Brian McDonald, and 23-year-old Ciara Clutario, of Burbank, to traffic fentanyl and cocaine.

    McDonald and Clutario allegedly created vendor profiles on darknet marketplaces to sell fentanyl, cocaine, and other illegal narcotics in exchange for cryptocurrency.

    The pair maintained online dark web profiles and arranged drug listings and shipment options, tracking drug orders received through the profiles and offloading cryptocurrency received on the darknet marketplaces into cryptocurrency wallets that the co-conspirators controlled.

    Both McDonald and Clutario were charged last year. Their trials will begin on Aug. 6.

    The DOJ says Soto, Blacano, McKibben, and Rushton were directed by McDonald and others to package and ship the drugs sold on the darknet. The defendants allegedly took care of the packaging of the narcotics at McKibben and Rushton’s home in Burbank.

    The defendants are accused of selling and shipping hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of narcotics, including fentanyl and cocaine, to drug purchasers across the country.

    If the four men are convicted, they face the mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of life in federal prison.

    Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to KTLA.

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