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DEA Busts Online Drug Vendors

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I received this email this afternoon regarding “Operation Adam Bomb,” a drug bust by the DEA as well as other international agencies against an online drug market called “The Farmer’s Market”. I am posting it here for your consideration:



LOS ANGELES - Federal, state, and international law enforcement authorities have arrested eight people who all face federal drug trafficking and money laundering charges stemming from their creation and operation of a secret online narcotics market place – known as the  “The Farmer's Market” – which sold a variety of controlled substances to approximately 3,000 customers in 50 states and 24 countries.

This morning, law enforcement authorities in Lelystad, Netherlands, this morning arrested the lead defendant, Marc Willems, at his home.  Yesterday, law enforcement officials in Bogota, Colombia, arrested the second defendant, Michael Evron, a U.S. citizen who lives in Argentina, as he was attempting to leave Colombia.  The remaining defendants, Jonathan Colbeck, Brian Colbeck, Ryan Rawls, Jonathan Dugan, George Matzek and Charles Bigras were arrested at their respective homes in Iowa, Michigan, Georgia, New York, New Jersey and Florida.

The 66-page indictment, which was unsealed today, was the result of “Operation Adam Bomb,” a two-year investigation led by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Los Angeles Field Division, with significant assistance by the Netherlands Regional Police Force Flevoland, prosecutors from the International Legal Assistance Center North East Netherlands, U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs, the DEA’s country office in Hague, and the U.S. Postal Service.  The arrests of the defendants took place due to the cooperation and assistance of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, the Colombian Central Directorate of the Judicial Police and Intelligence, Migracion Colombia, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and federal/state/local authorities in New York, Iowa, Georgia, Florida, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Jersey.

“The drug trafficking organization targeted in Operation Adam Bomb was distributing dangerous and addictive drugs to every corner of the world, and trying to hide their activities through the use of advanced anonymizing on-line technology,” said Briane M. Grey, DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge.  “Today’s action should send a clear message to organizations that are using technology to conduct criminal activity that the DEA and our law enforcement partners will track them down and bring them to justice.”

“Illegal narcotics trafficking now reaches every corner of our world, including our home computers,” said U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California André Birotte Jr., whose office is handling the prosecution of the case.  “But the reach of the law is just as long, and the Department of Justice will work with its partners, both nationally and internationally, to bring narcotics traffickers to justice, wherever they may hide.  Working together, we want to make the Internet a safe and secure marketplace by rooting out and prosecuting thosepersons who seek to illegally pervert and exploit that market.”

The 12-count indictment charges that each of the defendants was a member of a conspiracy to distribute a variety of controlled substances worldwide through the use of online marketplaces that allowed independent sources of supply to anonymously advertise illegal drugs for sale to the public.  According to the indictment, the operators of the online marketplaces provided a controlled substances storefront, order forms, online forums, customer service, and payment methods for the different sources of supply.  For customers, the operators screened all sources of supply and guaranteed delivery of the illegal drugs.  The online marketplaces handled all communications between the sources of supply and customers.  For these services, the operators charged a commission based upon the value of the order.  Customers of the on-line marketplaces have been identified in every U.S. state and the District of Columbia and in approximately 34 other countries.  There were thousands of registered users of the online marketplaces.  The on-line marketplaces have multiple sources of supply offering various controlled substances, including lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), MDMA (ecstasy), fentanyl, mescaline, ketamine, DMT and high-end marijuana.  Between January 2007 and October 2009 alone, defendants Willems and Evron processed approximately 5,256 online orders for controlled substances valued at approximately $1,041,244 via the online controlled substances marketplaces.

As alleged in the indictment, the “Farmers Market”, previously known as “Adamflowers”, operated on the TOR network.  According to the indictment, TOR is a circuit of encrypted connections through relays on the TOR network that can be downloaded on home computers. TOR allows websites and electronic mail communications to mask IP address information by spreading communications over a series of computers, or relays, located throughout the world.  The online marketplaces have accepted Western Union, Pecunix, PayPal, I-Golder, and cash as payment for illegal drug sales.

According to investigators, this drug trafficking organization (DTO) attempted to operate online in secrecy, utilizing the TOR network, IP anonymizers, and covert currency transactions; but investigators were able to infiltrate the DTO and its technology during the course of the investigation.

Those arrested were:

-Marc Willems, 42, a Dutch citizen living in Lelystad, Netherlands
-Michael Evron, 42, a U.S. citizen living in Buenos Aires, Argentina
-Jonathan Colbeck, 51, of Urbana, Iowa
-Brian Colbeck, 47, of Coldwater, Mich.
-Ryan Rawls, 31, of Alpharetta, Ga.
-Jonathan Dugan, 27, of North Babylon, N.Y.
-George Matzek, 20, of Secaucus, N.J.
-Charles Bigras, 37, of Melbourne, Fla.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in court.

Each of the defendants is charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, which carries a maximum sentence of imprisonment for life, and money laundering conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment.  Defendants Willems, Evron, Jonathan Colbeck, Brian Colbeck, and Rawls are also charged with the distribution of LSD, which carries a maximum sentence of imprisonment for life.  Finally, defendants Willems and Evron are charged with participating in a continuing criminal enterprise, which carries a maximum sentence of imprisonment for life and a 20-year mandatory minimum sentence.

In addition to those named in the indictment, authorities arrested seven other people this morning (two in the Netherlands, one in Atlanta, two in New Hampshire, one in Pennsylvania and one in New Jersey).  During the course of the arrests made in this case, federal agents and local law enforcement officers also seized substances identified as hashish, LSD and MDMA, as well as an indoor psychotropic mushroom grow, and three indoor marijuana grows.


  1. Bill   •  

    It’s sad these types of online market places are being taken out.

    These types of services keep the drugs at high end levels, good customer service, no physical danger, people off the streets buying from shady characters……. which is all now going to be happening since this is busted up

    I like cops thinking… “Oh right, these people aren’t going to do drugs now”

    • Dave   •  

      Exactly Bill. And the real joke is these people were the good side of it all. Just growers getting together to sell to others with no violence. Can’t imagine the $$ spent on the investigation.

  2. Pingback: Feds bust “Farmer’s Market,” an online illegal drug ring hidden by TOR

  3. Name   •  

    I completely agree with you Bill

  4. Name   •  

    fuck you DEA

  5. GoHomeDEA   •  

    The war on drugs is the biggest waste of time and money the humans have ever done. It does nothing but cause more problems. All these people in trouble were probably good people with families. Now it’s all messed up because they were trying to make money. Not doing anything wrong. Just illegal because some asshole says so.

  6. qpwoei   •  

    “Working together, we want to make the Internet a safe and secure marketplace…”

    This is TOR, you have to actively seek it out. It’s never going to be, say, a hidden popup ad that you can’t control. Under what possible logic does shutting down such a drug site make the Internet comparatively safer?

    Now, if this was the only thing that somebody considered a safe way to get drugs, then I can see the argument that it kept that person safe from those future drugs.

  7. Aditya   •  

    Contrary to popular beeilf! It is like you’re confident my thoughts! You appear to discover a whole lot of regarding it, precisely like you composed magic of making up involved or something. It looks like that you can do with many images to drive a car this content house a lttle bit, however besides these very, furthermore this is educational writing. A very good look over. I’ll definitely revisit back again.

  8. Spike Vermin   •  

    We must stand up to the filthy lowlife DEA & it’s “partners”. The DEA is the worlds oldest & best funded Terrorist organisation. The DEA have stood over every president since it’s severely corrupt Patriarch, Harry S Anslinger, first conned the president and the predecessor to the United Nations, to criminialise Cannabis, the worlds ONLY 100% non-toxic drug with NO DEATHS EVER. DEA “agents” should be placed under citizens arrest if any of the filth are discovered.
    I personally, live in Australia but if I come across any of the filthy crap from the DEA, I will very roughly, arrest them. (I am a martial arts grandmaster & LOVE to smack shit out of scum like DEA agents & any other type of “drug pig”). Kill em all!!!

  9. findit yourself   •  

    I agree with everyone who has spoken so far. This is the biggest waste of time and money spent by our wonderful government. If the government was concerned about the safety of the citizens maybe go after the pharmaceutical companies who have developed “legal” narcotics for everyone to spend their money on, and then when drugs are developed that could actually HELP people they don’t allow their usage b/c that would cut down on all of the money they make on our government and capitalism getting everyone hooked on pharmaceuticals some of which we have no idea what kind of harm they are going to eventually cause. Meanwhile, way to go DEA for “busting” good people trying to distribute natural drugs that people are going to get somehow anyway. At least this was a safe way of ordering and distribution. I swear our government and the people who “enforce” the laws are the biggest idiots I have ever met. Probably because they have never tried any drugs and they are needed to freaking chill out folks. Another sad day for America and the Dutch helped? Really man, I thought better of the Europeans. Stop fighting a war that will not be won!!!

  10. Mike Hawksbig   •  

    In hindsight the intent to commit conspiracy to knowingly distribute drugs was clear as day. You don’t walk outside and sell someone some meth without knowing your distributing chemicals outlawed or controlled but our mommie and daddies that in reality are just a little sour to the bitter taste that criminal orginizations and tarrorist funding is… oh wait a sec, again here we come to this corner a seond time. Clearly they should hold their heads up high, walk into the defense providing the realities in a non cocky address. In your defences include as they are the finger pointing at the realities of uncovered financial transactions between ‘issues not addressed for national security’ when red handed funding by our government to orginizations opposing the security and causing fear.. That was the way out I can assume. Make a deal, benifit, rape, kill, own, prosper, lie. Neatly this ties in also with the control of drugs to get administered by ‘gatekeepers’ with a slip of paper. Is it right because it funds economy and internal goods and services? Opium is commisioned to afgan.. a percentage is given to them. Those same deliveries contain base and vinigar compounds to be distributed to the mix labs. Trap and blow. So really the evil here was actually avoided by these men. No intimidation, force, or dorcful sales.. infact to know about these services your a certain class.. the greater population doesnt. And this money earned isnt funding anything more than us and a few european folks servival needs pouring back to the ecomomy. The intent as I say is there, unavoiadable, you knew the outcome, but the time penalised is rediculious you’d SWEAR they we’re indangering lives and among the first drug peddelars ever. I have seen more money pass by a crystal methamphetamine drug drade than the change their making. Relax a bit on the jail time guys.. really the money wasted on the operative, stakeout, aprehension, syncronization, manhours… couldnt you have brought down a cartel with that commitment?

  11. Cyle   •  

    I say we start a war on obesity and start giving sentences to those eating excess food when they need a strict diet. Their obesity is effecting nobody but themselves but we need to do something to stop these people. We can’t have government insurance covering all these medical bills due to a self-inflicted bad diet. Total sarcasm by the way. It’s just another way to control the general population for the public’s “best interest”. The sad thing is, like many have pointed out, is that people will now have to go out into public and risk getting products that are potentially cut with dangerous additives. The war on drugs isn’t about developing a sober society, it’s all about money. Money is always the end result in any situation that tries to control others.

  12. Rachael Albrecht   •  

    I agree. If they are going to get these drugs better off the streets and used for personal use only but noooooo they are the bad guys! Whatever! The DEA HVAE PROBABLY been paid off or brought them down because it interferes with thier own illegal drug trade that they themselves support and finance.

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