Salisbury man pleads guilty to large-scale drug distribution operation on dark web

 

BALTIMORE, Md. – A Salisbury man has pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute heroin, which he reportedly sold on the dark web, a part of the internet that is only accessible by using specific software that disguises the true location and identity of computers using the software to communicate.

40-year-old Jason Green entered the guilty plea on Tuesday. According to the guilty plea, from at least 2018 through October 2019, Green used an apartment and storage unit in Salisbury to sell and distribute heroin on the dark web and using encrypted email services.

As detailed in the plea agreement, Green initially operated as “CaliClair” on the Dream Market, a dark web marketplace for controlled substances and other illegal goods. When the Dream Market closed in 2019, Green sold heroin through encrypted email services under the usernames “CaliClaire” and “clairebear2”. Green sent the heroin to buyers throughout the country using the U.S. Postal Service.

On June 20th and August 28th of 2018, an undercover investigator purchased one gram of heroin from CaliClaire’s vendor site on Dream Market for roughly $200 in bitcoin. The next day, law enforcement surveillance Green as he drove a white BMW from his home to the post offices in Ocean City and Salisbury, depositing parcels in a mailbox. After the vehicle drove away, investigators searched the mailbox and recovered the parcel addressed to the address provided to CaliClaire by the undercover investigator. Each parcel reportedly contained one gram of a substance that field-tested positive for heroin, and investigators recovered two additional parcels the Green placed in the mailbox in Salisbury. Search warrants resulted in the recovery of 3.5 and 4.5 grams, respectively, of a tan powdery substance appearing to be heroin inside the parcels.

CaliClaire was reportedly inactive on Dream Market from September 7, 2018, to December 4, 2018, the same time that Green was in custody after being arrested by Ocean City Police on unrelated state charges. Green was released on electronic monitoring on December 4th, and six days later, CaliClaire posted an update on DreamMarket claiming that the vendor had taken a “break” due to the loss in value of bitcoin. Another update was posted on December 21, 2018, claiming that heroin would be available for purchase starting again on December 25, 2018. Dream Market was shut down sometime between January and April 2019.

In June and September of 2019, law enforcement seized two USPS packages being shipped to addresses in Fairfax County, Virginia, and Washington County, Oregon. The packages were later found to contain heroin, and investigators contacted the intended recipients, learning that they were former CaliClaire customers on Dream Market. The Virginia recipient reported that CaliClaire had resumed selling heroin directly under the CaliClaire username on one encrypted email service, while the Oregon recipient reported that he was also selling heroin directly under the username “clairebear2” on a second encrypted email service.

Then, in September and October of 2019, investigators reportedly conducted two undercover purchases from clairebear2, each time obtaining 2 grams of heroin for $300 in bitcoin. After observing Green dropping parcels into a drive-up mailbox in Delaware, it was searched and discovered to contain three grams of a substance that field-tested positive for heroin. Green was then seen accessing a storage unit that he was renting and later that day dropping multiple packages in a mailbox in Berlin. The package contained a clear zip-top bag holding approximately 2.5 grams of heroin.

On October 16, 2019, search warrants were executed at Green’s residence and storage unit. Law enforcement recovered a total of 77 grams of heroin, approximately 41 grams of cocaine, approximately five grams of MDMA, a controlled substance often sold as ecstasy, approximately 33 grams of methamphetamine, more than 1.4 kilograms of marijuana, with all but 48 grams packaged in heat sealed bags, 334 grams of cutting agent, and drug paraphernalia, including numerous digital scales, a money counter, and packaging materials.

In addition, officers seized six firearms, including a .40 caliber pistol that had been reported stolen from an officer with the Federal Air Marshal Service, a Level 3A body armor vest, ammunition, $13,796 in cash, mailing materials, a laptop computer, and several cell phones, including an iPhone.

A forensic analysis of Green’s iPhone found data of his use of encrypted mail service and a mobile cryptocurrency storage application, which showed that before the phone was seized, the wallet contained approximately 15.97 bitcoin. At that time, this was worth approximately $130,000. A search of the laptop revealed other evidence, including email addresses for the encrypted email services, tracking numbers, and customer information.

We’re told that Green and the government have agreed that, if the court accepts the plea agreement, Green will be sentenced to five years in federal prison. Sentencing is scheduled for February 11, 2022.

Categories: Crime, Local News, Maryland