California man operating dark web vendor account pleads guilty to conspiracy to distribute narcotics


Date: December 16, 2021


SACRAMENTO, CA — Hunter Daniel Secrest, formerly of San Francisco, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, Acting United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, Secrest and his co-conspirators operated the dark web vendor account TheCommission on the Empire marketplace. TheCommission joined Empire in April 2020; by June 2020, TheCommission had completed over 800 verified sales that law enforcement agents calculated to total over $200,000 worth of narcotics.

Over the course of the conspiracy, Secrest and his co-conspirators distributed and possessed with intent to distribute at least the following: 752 grams of heroin, 11 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, 600 grams of cocaine, 1.6 kilograms of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl, 45 grams of morphine, 93 grams of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, 277 grams of valium, 285 grams of alprazolam, and 35 grams of Adderall.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Northern California Illicit Digital Economy (NCIDE) Task Force, which includes agents from the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The NCIDE Task Force is a federal task force focused on targeting all forms of illicit dark web and cryptocurrency activity in the Eastern District of California and beyond. Assistant United States Attorneys Paul Hemesath and Sam Stefanki are prosecuting the case.

Secrest is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Court Judge John A. Mendez on March 22, 2022. Secrest faces a maximum statutory penalty of twenty years in prison and a $1 million fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.