A 40-year-old Seattle man got seven years in prison for selling thousands of doses of fentanyl on various encrypted websites.
Matthew Witters was a leading seller of fentanyl on AlphaBay and Dream Market between 2015 and 2017, court documents said. In December 2018, law enforcement seized $1.1 million in cryptocurrency, cash and other funds Witters admitted were the proceeds of his drug trafficking.
At the sentencing hearing U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour ordered forfeiture of those funds, and said Witters sold “an enormous quantity of an extremely dangerous drug.”
“Fentanyl traffickers, who put their profits ahead of public safety, justifiably face significant federal prison sentences,” said U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran. “Trafficking in these substances endangers not only the end-user, but innocent bystanders such as postal workers or family members who might come in contact with the highly toxic substance.”
Witters came to the attention of law enforcement when his contact information and dark web monikers were discovered in residences connected with drug trafficking in Oklahoma and California, court records said. Witters’ sales on AlphaBay ended when law enforcement shut-down the site in July 2017.
Witters was arrested December 10, 2018, and the following day law enforcement executed a search warrant for a safe deposit box Witters leased in a Shoreline, Washington bank. Inside was more than $165,000 in currency, a variety of controlled substances, mailing labels and stamps and a loaded Glock 27 pistol.
Witters has been in custody since his arrest. On June 13, 2019, WITTERS pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. Prosecutors agreed to cap their sentencing recommendation at ten years in prison.