Norwich man charged with distributing synthetic opioids via the darknet

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A Norwich man has been indicted in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport on charges that he sold fentanyl analogues on the so-called darknet and mailed the potent synthetic opioids to people who paid him in Bitcoin.

Barry Duclos, 39, pleaded not guilty Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Holly Fitzsimmons to fentanyl analogue trafficking and firearms possession.

Duclos has been detained since he was arrested on a criminal complaint on Feb. 12, 2018. Evidence was presented before a grand jury, which returned an 11-count indictment on Sept. 6.

The government alleges that Duclos operated a vendor page known as "Dream Market" on the darknet, which The Associated Press describes as part of the internet hosted within an encrypted network and accessible only through anonymity-providing tools. According to the office of U.S. Attorney John H. Durham, Duclos used the alias 1NOLEFB1 and advertised the sale of fentanyl analogues on Dream Market. He then used the U.S. Postal Service to ship fentanyl analogues to customers, who paid for the drugs using Bitcoin.

Agents searched Duclos' home and seized a YHM rifle with multiple magazines, two of which were extended magazines, according to the government. The firearm was loaded with a round in the chamber. Investigators also said they located and seized a quantity of fentanyl from the residence.

Duclos has previous convictions in state court, in February 2001 of sale of narcotics and, in March 2017 for third-degree larceny. It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.

The indictment charges Duclos with one count of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, 10 grams or more of fentanyl and fentanyl analogues, an offense that carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years. 

The indictment also charges Duclos with eight counts of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, fentanyl analogues, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years on each count. 

He also is charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, an offense that carries a mandatory consecutive five-year term of imprisonment.

The case is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Vanessa Richards.


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