darknet news

Operators of 'PartyCrew' sentenced for darknet drug traficking operation

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Karen K. Caldwell sentenced Benjamin Norman Joseph Flanigan, aged 27, and Haleigh Breanne Flanigan, aged 27, of Lexington, to federal prison. Benjamin Flanigan pleaded guilty to drug distribution and conspiracy to commit drug distribution, and received a sentence of 18 months. Haleigh Flanigan also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit drug distribution and conspiracy to commit money laundering, and was sentenced to 48 months.

As per the plea agreements of the Flanigans, it has been acknowledged that they were involved in a drug trafficking organization on the darknet, which was known as PartyCrew. The PartyCrew darknet marketplace was known to advertise the sale of various controlled substances in exchange for cryptocurrencies like Monero and Bitcoin. The Flanigans were responsible for fulfilling orders of controlled substances by packaging and sending them through the U.S. mail to customers located across the United States. Haleigh Flanigan received payment for her services in cryptocurrencies, which she attempted to conceal by using cryptocurrency anonymizing tools.

The prosecution presented evidence implicating Joshua Cook as a co-conspirator in the aforementioned criminal activities. Cook has pleaded guilty to the same charges as Haleigh Flanigan and is slated to receive sentencing on July 25, 2023. Furthermore, the prosecution effectively dismantled the PartyCrew drug trafficking syndicate in its entirety.

In February of 2023, Benjamin and Haleigh Flanigan entered a plea of guilty. As per federal law, the Defendants are required to serve 85 percent of their respective prison sentences. Following their release from prison, they will be placed under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for a period of 3 years.

The sentence was jointly announced by Carlton S. Shier, IV, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and J. William Rivers, the Special Agent in Charge for the Federal Bureau of Investigation-Cincinnati. The investigation was carried out by the FBI, while the United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kathryn Dieruf and Emily Greenfield.