San Luis Obispo Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Distribute Marijuana on the Dark Net | USAO-EDCA

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FRESNO, Calif. — Daniel McMonegal, 36, of San Luis Obispo, pleaded guilty nowadays to conspiring to distribute a controlled substance, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, McMonegal, working with the on the web monikers “Sawgrass,” “Ross4Less,” and “ChristmasTree,” distributed marijuana on a variety of dark net marketplaces, like Dream Industry. McMonegal was also the owner of a marijuana delivery service in San Luis Obispo referred to as West Coast Organix, which claimed to be a nonprofit healthcare marijuana cooperative. McMonegal then laundered the bitcoin proceeds of his drug distribution by means of an undercover agent positioned in New York. Immediately after getting the bitcoin from McMonegal, the undercover agent mailed parcels of money to McMonegal in San Luis Obispo and Mariposa. In total, McMonegal distributed about 146 kilograms of marijuana in exchange for about $476,500 in bitcoin.

This case is the item of an investigation by Homeland Safety Investigations (HSI). Assistant U.S. Lawyer Grant B. Rabenn is prosecuting the case.

McMonegal is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill on Nov. 12. McMonegal faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The actual sentence, having said that, will be determined at the discretion of the court soon after consideration of any applicable statutory aspects and the Federal Sentencing Recommendations, which take into account a quantity of variables.

This case was the item of Operation Dark Gold, a coordinated national operation that employed the 1st nationwide undercover action to target vendors of illicit goods on the dark net. Specific Agents of the HSI New York Field Division, in coordination with the U.S. Attorney’s Workplace for the Southern District of New York, posed as a revenue launderer on dark net marketplace web pages, exchanging U.S. currency for virtual currency. Via this operation, HSI New York was capable to recognize various vendors of illicit goods, major to the opening of a lot more than 90 active circumstances about the nation. The Revenue Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS) of the Division of Justice’s Criminal Division, operating with a lot more than 40 U.S. Attorney’s Offices all through the nation, coordinated the nationwide investigation of more than 65 targets that lead to the arrest and impending prosecution of a lot more than 35 dark net vendors, like McMonegal.

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