The illicit drug transaction between a Nebraska pharmacist and a Maryland Dark Web dealer was going so well that the couple were running out of drugs to sell, according to federal prosecutors.
They said pharmacist Hyrum T. Wilson, 41, of Auburn, New Brunswick, sent over 19,000 doses of prescription drugs from Hyrum’s Family Value pharmacy in Auburn to William Anderson Burgamy IV, 33 , Hanover, MD, from August 2019. to April 2020.
But when Mr Wilson hit limits set by a distributor, capping the amount of medicine he could get and send to Mr Burgamy, the two hatched a plan.
The gains were said to have been twofold, prosecutors said: Mr Wilson and Mr Burgamy were planning to raid a rival drugstore, scavenging a stock of drugs to sell. Then, after torching the pharmacy, business would explode at Hyrum, increasing the amount of drugs Mr. Wilson could send to Mr. Burgamy to sell on his dark web site, NeverPressedRx.
On Friday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, Mr. Burgamy was sentenced to 14 years in prison and Mr. Wilson to nine years. Mr. Burgamy had previously pleaded guilty to four counts of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, money laundering and conspiracy to use firearms and conspiracy to use explosives. Mr. Wilson had pleaded guilty to three counts, similar to Mr. Burgamy’s, but without the firearms count.
The plot, which the pair had dubbed “Operation Firewood,” involved skull masks, duffel bags, Molotov cocktails and a rental car, with the list of supplies written in a black leather notebook. Mr Wilson designed an “getaway” map with escape routes for Mr Burgamy to use after the attack, the Justice Department said.
But the plot was never realized. It began to unfold in December, when the FBI, along with agents from the United States Postal Inspection Service, Food and Drug Administration, and Drug Enforcement Administration, began investigating NeverPressedRx, the site of Mr. Burgamy, in connection with an international investigation into trafficking. on the dark web, according to the Justice Department.
As of January, investigators made and received nine undercover purchases of Oxycodone and Adderall from NeverPressedRx. During the investigation, the police identified Mr. Burgamy as the operator of the site; Mr Burgamy was monitored “on several occasions as he was placing packages” of NeverPressedRx in the mail, according to court documents.
The site, which proclaimed that “all of our stock comes directly from a US pharmacy,” had an excellent reputation: 99.95% of its reviews were positive, investigators found in April.
On April 9, federal law enforcement arrested Mr. Burgamy at his home before raiding it. They found eight firearms, all loaded, including two AR-15 assault rifles, as well as “thousands of prescription opioid pills,” according to court documents.
Federal law enforcement officers executed search warrants at Mr. Wilson’s home and pharmacy the same day. He was arrested a week later.
The Justice Department said Mr Burgamy gave Mr Wilson reduced profits from drug sales through Bitcoin payments, wire transfers and mailed money packets. Mr Burgamy said he made almost $ 1 million from the operation.
As the couple waited for the coronavirus restrictions to be lifted before implementing the rival pharmacy’s bombing plan, the virus presented another opportunity, the ministry said: Mr Wilson and Mr Burgamy discussed the sale of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to take advantage of the pandemic. .
Mr Wilson’s attorney, Joseph Howard, said in a telephone interview on Friday night that his client was persuaded into drug trafficking and the firebomb plot by Mr Burgamy after the two met online by playing the “War Dragons” video game.
Mr. Wilson is autistic, said Mr. Howard, and “just can’t function socially.” He was happy to have found a friend in Mr Burgamy, Mr Howard said. When he realized he was “trapped,” Mr. Wilson tried to sell the pharmacy in an attempt to evade the operation, Mr. Howard said.
Mr Burgamy’s lawyer Elizabeth Ann Mullin, a public defender, declined to comment on Friday evening.
Hyrum’s Family Value Pharmacy was one of three pharmacies in Nebraska selected in December for a state health department pilot program to distribute free naloxone nasal spray kits to prevent opioid overdoses.