The Justice Department has arrested one of the biggest sellers of drugs on the dark web and moved to bar two Ohio doctors from prescribing medications. The actions are part of a sprawling effort to prosecute drug cases amid the opioid epidemic, the Washington Post reports. Several arrests, charges and guilty pleas involving illicit and prescription drugs were announced in Cleveland on Wednesday, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions is moving aggressively against those who distribute illicit drugs and illegally prescribe legal ones. Sessions called the latest announcements “a warning to every trafficker, every crooked doctor or pharmacist, and every drug company, every chairman and foreign national and company that puts greed before the lives and health of the American people: this Justice Department will use civil and criminal penalties alike, and we will find you, put you in jail, or make you pay.”
Federal prosecutors allege that Matthew and Holly Roberts of San Antonio were two of the biggest drug dealers on the dark web, handling nearly 3,000 verified transactions on various underground marketplaces between 2011 and 2018 — including the largest number of verified fentanyl transactions on the dark web. Prosecutors said they operated under the name “MH4Life.” The charges are part of “Operation Darkness Falls,” which targeted those who sell fentanyl and other drugs on the dark web. Federal prosecutors charged five other people in connection with the operation, including “DF44,” the third-largest fentanyl vendor in North America, who was arrested in Canada and later committed suicide; and “Dark King 22,” an Ohio man who allegedly ran an Internet fentanyl business from an apartment where children lived.