Scottsdale man sentenced for selling fentanyl via darknet market
Apr 12, 2023, 8:00 PM | Updated: Apr 13, 2023, 10:02 am
PHOENIX – A Scottsdale man was sentenced to 6½ years in federal prison for selling fentanyl on the darknet, authorities said.
John McKernan, 32, sold fentanyl-laced pills from August 2021 through May 2022 under the alias KingofKeys, according to court documents.
Investigators used Bitcoin to purchase more than 450 pills McKernan said were oxycodone last year. All of the pills tested positive for fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, according to a press release last week from the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, which prosecuted the case.
The darknet, or dark web, is an encrypted part of the Internet that hosts hidden black-market websites.
The FBI Phoenix Division, United States Postal Inspection Service Phoenix Division and Scottsdale Police Department helped with the investigation.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 107,000 people died from overdoses in the 12 months that ended Oct. 31, 2022. Before 2020, the number of overdose deaths had never topped 100,000.
Most of the deaths were linked to fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.