Heroin Drug Case: Nathan Reuer, 25 has been charged with importation of controlled substances, and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances according to a criminal complaint filed against him on 24 January 2019. The U.S. Justice Department reported that Reuer allegedly imported methamphetamine, fentanyl and heroin. His recent appearance at the court revealed the details surrounding his arrest and drug importation. The arrest was part of a long term investigation into illicit drug trafficking on the dark web and an interception made by the custom and border officers.

As claimed by the criminal complaint, Ryan Gebhardwith the Rapid City Police Department alerted Homeland Security Investigation Special Agent, Nicholas Saroff about being suspicious of Reuer of purchasing drugs from the dark web. According to reports, Saroff then learnt the possibility of drug traffickers ordering controlled substances from overseas through the dark web. He learnt most of the drugs are packaged with toys and other stuffs to look less suspicious.

Image sources: www.Irishtimes.com

The Custom and Boarder Protection agency then intercepted seven packages meant to be delivered to Reuer. The unsealed indictment revealed that five of the packages were shipped from China and two were shipped from Canada which were said to contain Toys, Rice cooker and other items.

On 17 January 2019, the Rapid City Police in collaboration with the Homeland Security Investigation intercepted a package shipped from Canada meant to be delivered to Reuers. Authorities unwrapped it and found a black plastic pouch. Inside it was another silver pouch labeled as “dry packs”. Authorities then ran a test on the substance and confirmed it to be methamphetamine. Few days later, another package meant for Reuer was seized, and the substance found in the package tested positive to fentanyl. This called for a thorough investigation. Saroff stated that he realized the defendant was potentially dealing  infentanyl.

Image sources: www.rapidcityjournal.com

On 23 January 2019, the authorities applied for a warrant to search his resident.Though the warrant was obtained to search his home, electronic devices and his vehicles, the outcome of the search was not been made available to the public. However, it was admitted the defendant was involved in illegal drugs. He has been charged with importing methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl from Canada. In addition, he has been charged with another count of possession with intent to distribute heroin. Reuer pleaded not guilty to four counts in February. He is expected to make a guilty plea by 1 November 2019, if not, he will be on trial on 19 November 2019. He is currently held at the Pennington County Jail.

Taylor Sperle, a Pennington County sheriff’s sergeant stated that using the dark web to purchase illegal drugs is not a primary means that his area use to make drugs available. However, he believes this is a common way for some drug dealers to purchase drugs following this case.

How authorities were able to discover that the packages contained drugs was not stated, but Sperle clarified that all international packages go through custom before the shipping companies make the shipping. He emphasized that this was a joint effort between locals, state and the federal agencies.

Source: Mitchell Republic


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