DEA busts vendor on Alphabay


Joshua J. Kelly is one of the most popular vendors on Alphabay. He was recently caught and sentenced by the DEA for the drug peddling activities he did on our favorite dark net market. He was a popular opioid vendor, and the DEA has been unmerciful in their investigation of him. Running the profile name ustous, he was a very trusted vendor with many sales. In this article, we will be going over the details of the case.

This is not Joshua’s first run in with the law. In fact, it was one of the reasons he was caught. Past criminals are the first thing the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) investigates. His arrest was chronicled by a local newspaper: “An East Cape Girardeau, Ill., man has been arrested on weapons and drug charges following a string of thefts in Missouri and Illinois, law enforcement officials said Thursday afternoon. Joshua J. Kelly, 25, has been charged with eight counts of possession of stolen firearms and the unlawful production of more than 30 marijuana plants, according to Alexander County State’s Attorney Jeffrey Ferris”. 

Kelly started with marijuana, but he sold all kinds of drugs on Alphabay. It is important to note that Joshua was able to avoid most of the charges in his indictment. The investigation began in full when DEA officers bought drugs in 2015. They were trolling Alphabay and decided to target ustous. The DEA was able to use an IP address to trace Joshua to an alternate identity. He called himself Heady Warez and owned a marijuana and smoke shop. The DEA agents said that “records of Kelly’s personal eBay account show he previously purchased a tablet press, powder mixers and die molds for painkillers oxycodone and Norco, plus Xanax”. Those are all very serious substances, and Kelly was in deep trouble the second they found out. Joshua even talked with some of his business partners about his illegal activities in his smoke shop.

His pills resulted in the confirmed death of one woman, and the unconfirmed deaths of many others. With the recent hard line stance the government was taking on the deep web drug peddlers, Kelly did not stand a chance. He even produced special “formulas” for unique drugs only he sold. The DEA bolted the final coffin in Joshua’s tomb when they found evidence in his trash, movie style. “In August 2016, DEA agents recovered pieces of evidence from Heady Warez’s trash, including “26 pieces of paper with various handwritten acronyms, colors and numbers, such as ‘10 yellow Benz,’ ‘85 Xan,’ ‘10 OC 40 orange,’ ‘6 D&G,’” which closely resembled online drug listings posted by “USTOUS” for benzodiazepine and alprazolam, both psychoactive drugs, and oxycodone, Infante wrote.”

Joshua had the deck stacked against him, and got unlucky that the DEA targeted him. A case was built against him, and he was arrested last month. The lead DEA agent has left us with this final message about his case. “Kelly waived his right to a preliminary hearing in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District, and requested any preliminary or detention hearings be held in the Southern District of Florida, thereby consenting to appear in the charging district, according to court filings.”

Kelly is one of many victims of a government crack down on the dark web. Let us hope that his arrest in a warning to others.