Second person in ‘Drug Llama’ scheme pleads guilty to distributing fentanyl in Illinois

A second person who sold fentanyl on the dark web as “The Drug Llama” pleaded guilty Wednesday to 10 federal drug charges, prosecutors said.

Drug Llama Scheme

Melissa Scanlan, 32, of San Diego, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, selling counterfeit drugs, misbranding drugs, conspiracy to commit international money laundering, one count of distribution of fentanyl resulting in death and five counts of distributing fentanyl.

Brandon Arias, 34, pleaded guilty in July to conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, five counts of illegally distributing fentanyl, selling counterfeit drugs and misbranding drugs.

Both admitted creating an account on “Dream Market,” a dark web marketplace, to sell thousands of fentanyl pills from October 2016 to August 2018, prosecutors said. Scanlan admitted receiving fentanyl from Mexico from drug couriers who hid the pills in unspecified “body cavities” and selling at least 1,000 a week. The proceeds went back to Mexico via couriers, her plea says.

During that period, they said, the pair split $100,000 that they made in 800 online sales. Scanlan also admitted selling the fentanyl that killed a San Diego woman in 2017.

She could face 20 years to life in prison when sentenced in February. Arias is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 5.

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