Pittsburgh man pleads guilty to buying thousands of Xanax pills via ‘Darknet’
A Pittsburgh man admitted to buying more than 10,000 doses of Xanax on the so-called “dark web” and plotting to sell the drug to addicts for a $10,000 profit, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
James Robert Czachowski, 22, faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a fine up to $2 million after pleading guilty to federal drug and firearms charges, U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady said.
In April, authorities intercepted an “international express parcel” addressed to Czachowski with a United Kingdom return address that contained thousands of pills. Agents opened the package “pursuant to extended border search authority,” Brady said.
Inside, they found thousands of pills that resembled the size and shape of Xanax, a brand name for alprozolam, anti-anxiety medication that can be highly addictive and particularly dangerous when combined with alcohol.
On April 11, agents made a “controlled delivery” of the package, which arrived at the defendant’s father’s house. The father signed for the package.
Agents stopped the father when he left the residence with the unopened package, and he told them he planned to bring it to his son, James Czachowski.
With the agents still present, the father got a call from Czachowski, prosecutors said. Investigators overheard Czachowski ask whether his father had left and “if everything was OK.”
Agents went to Czachowski’s residence, where he confessed to buying narcotics on the “Darknet” for about a year, prosecutors said. The Darknet, also called the deep or dark web, describes online markets that aren’t accessible by typical search engines where criminal and often hard-to-trace commerce takes place.
Czachowski admitted to buying 10,000 Xanax pills that he intended to sell for $1.50 apiece.
Czachowski gave authorities permission to search his residence, where they found two 9mm revolvers and several rounds of ammunition.
He pleaded guilty to firearms charges for being prohibited from possessing guns because of a prior felony conviction.
U.S. District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose scheduled sentencing for July 22.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Shanicka L. Kennedy prosecuted the case with help from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Homeland Security and the FBI.
Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, [email protected] or via Twitter .