LOS ANGELES – An Irvine resident who sold narcotics on one of the darknet’s largest marketplaces has been sentenced to 120 months in federal prison for illegally distributing drugs.
Tyler Reeves, 29, who sold narcotics under the moniker “Platinum45,” was sentenced on Monday by United States District Judge James V. Selna. In addition to the 10-year prison term, Judge Selna ordered Reeves to pay a $15,000 fine.
The 10-year sentence resulted from Reeves pleading guilty in March to distributing methamphetamine and money laundering.
From mid-2017 until September 2018, Reeves illegally sold narcotics – including prescription painkillers, stimulants and sedatives, as well as methamphetamine – on the dark web marketplace that was known as Wall Street Market, a now-defunct online bazaar that was operated by three German nationals who currently face charges in the United States and in Germany.
Reeves – who was one of the top five vendors on Wall Street Market – sold narcotics to nearly 300 customers around the globe and offered to sell as much as a kilogram of methamphetamine. Reeves’ customers included undercover law enforcement officers, who made six purchases from Platinum45, including one transaction in which Reeves shipped two ounces of methamphetamine in exchange for $2,230 in virtual currency, a sale that forms the basis of the first charge he admitted.
The money laundering charge stems from Reeves accepting Bitcoin as payment and converting that cryptocurrency into fiat U.S. money.
“On September 20, 2018, law enforcement executed a search warrant at defendant’s residence. At his residence, [Reeves] possessed not only illegal controlled substances, such as methamphetamine and oxycodone (prescribed to defendant), but he also possessed 13 un-serialized firearms, and 14 un-serialized silencers, which are used to suppress the sound of a gunshot,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “Defendant purchased the parts for these firearms online and manufactured these silencers and firearms. In addition to the drugs and firearms, defendant possessed extensive computing equipment, a Trezor hardware wallet (used for storing cryptocurrency), and gold and silver bars.”
This matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and IRS – Criminal Investigation. The Irvine Police Department provided assistance.
The case against Reeves was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ryan White, Chief of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section, and Puneet Kakkar of the International Narcotics, Money Laundering, and Racketeering Section.