Dark Web Seller of Counterfeit Drugs Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison

Written by Bill Toulas
Published on August 26, 2021

Benjamin Burdick, 55, resident of Florida, has been sentenced to 36 months in prison by the U.S. District Court in Virginia for selling counterfeit prescription drug pills like Xanax on the dark web. The man sold at least 249,700 fake Xanax pills between April 2019 and October 2020, through various dark web marketplaces, after stamping them to make them look like the real product.

However, these pills contained more than just Alprazolam, the main drastic substance, like Flualprazolam, Etizolam, Adinazolam, and microcrystalline cellulose. As such, they were very dangerous to the buyers/recipients.

Source: Citrus County Sheriff's Office

FBI agents placed several orders to purchase drugs from Burdick, mostly through the ‘Empire Market,’ and once they were able to trace back the parcel route to this home, they arrested him in October 2020. In his home, they found and confiscated 16,000 counterfeit Xanax pills, $150,000 in cash, six firearms and miscellaneous ammunition, and also counterfeit driver’s licenses. These documents featured Burdick’s real image, so he was using them to send parcels to his clients without giving away his real identity to the postal office.


Burdick was using the nickname “Rangoon” on the various marketplaces where he was selling the dangerous pills, and the investigators took an interesting path to figure out his identity. Knowing that he used significant amounts of microcrystalline cellulose, they scrutinized USPS records to find orders that could be linked to the man. Soon, they set up surveillance on the post office where he showed up to collect the item, then planted a GPS tracker on his car, and the rest was easy.


In this case, it is notable that “Rangoon” was going through the trouble to manufacture real drugs, even if not pure and extremely unsafe, instead of just scamming the buyers and sending sugar pills or nothing at all. Clearly, the man was going for a good reputation that could support a long-term operation.

Based on dark web records, “Rangoon” was an active seller for five years, so he actually achieved his goal up to a point. Also, he appears to be pretty honest with his clients, sending out the orders even if they were placed on marketplaces that went defunct in the meantime.

Source: KELA
Source: KELA

Xanax (alprazolam) is only given to people who have a doctor’s prescription and is a controlled drug regulated by law since it has a serious potential to cause dependence and withdrawal problems, as well as severe interaction risks with other drugs. As such, buying Xanax from the dark web and taking it without medical supervision and guidance is a terrible idea.

For a better user experience we recommend using a more modern browser. We support the latest version of the following browsers: For a better user experience we recommend using the latest version of the following browsers: