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Darknet Buyer Admits Fake Xanax Purchases

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Jul 11, 2023
Darknet Buyer Admits Fake Xanax Purchases

Between October 2019 and August 2021, Maximillian Gregory Verbowski, 28, of Seattle, bought the pills in quantity from one specific Darknet market trader with the intention of reselling them. The drugs were sent to post office boxes that Verbowski opened under many names, but they were finally linked to him.

Maximillian Gregory Verbowski’s Dark Web Operation

According to court records, Verbowski bought the medications from a Darknet market trader by the name of TheBenzoBoys who brought several benzodiazepine powders from China and pressed them into the form of well-known Xanax (alprazolam) formulations. The tablets also contained non-scheduled drugs in the US, such as flualprazolam, bromazolam, and clonazolam in addition to alprazolam. By definition, these other drugs were “counterfeit” since they were printed to resemble Xanax, which rendered their dealers liable for extra fees.

Verbowski paid TheBenzoBoys for the drugs in cash and Bitcoin, occasionally coordinating purchases using the secure messaging service Wickr. The seller, whose name is only given as “B.A.” in the accusation against Verbowski, is alleged to have lived in Missouri and employed a pill press machine with “a production rate of 16,200 pills per hour.” In addition, he bought personalized pill stamps that, despite the fact that his tablets frequently included active substances other than alprazolam, rendered them “substantially indistinguishable” from Xanax.

Verbowski is accused of conspiring to sell counterfeit drugs, selling counterfeit drugs, and using a false identity on mail to conduct a crime. The final accusation carries the worst punishment, up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.