A California man who was a vendor on “at least” nine darknet markets and ran two pill pressing plants in the Los Angeles area was indicted on 11 charges pertaining to narcotics and weapons offenses last Friday, Nov. 18th. Christopher Hampton, 36, is suspected of receiving $2 million in cryptocurrency from two vendor shops “controlled” by him, and approx. $1.5 million from individual market transactions, selling thousands of fake Oxycontin and Adderall pills since starting his career as a vendor in January 2021.
Hampton allegedly used the vendor name Narco710 across various darknet markets and the Dread forum. He was arrested at home on Nov. 2nd after search warrants filed by the FBI, DEA, ATF and HSI were executed against him. During the arrest, investigators discovered six pill presses, 10 weapons (including one modified machine gun), “bundles of cash,” and around 450 pounds of drugs, including tens of thousands of manufactured pills, fentanyl powder, marijuana, mushrooms, and other substances that were yet to be identified.
According to FBI agents present at the arrest, one of Hampton’s computers was left open and logged in at the time he was apprehended, allowing investigators to access a “pretty comprehensive buyer list” that included around 2,200 buyer names and 4,000 sales.
“All buyers should clean house and expect a knock on the door,” said HugBunter, Dread admin, in a thread on the forum about the subject.
Bags of fentanyl-containing fake Oxy pills found at Hampton’s residence. Source: FBI
Hampton had been under surveillance by the DEA since ordering a custom pill press from abroad for creating pills with similar markings to Adderall brand name pills. He oversaw pill pressing plants in Compton and Inglewood, California, areas known to traffic drugs for Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel. Undercover agents later placed large darknet orders for drugs – including methamphetamine – from his Narco710 vendor operation, using evidence collected in the process to confirm his personal association.
“Violent drug cartels, specifically the Sinaloa Cartel and Jalisco New Generation Cartel, are deliberately pushing deadly fentanyl into our communities with complete disregard for human lives in an effort to maximize their profits,” said Los Angeles-based DEA Special Agent Bill Bodner in a press release by the US Justice Department.
Hampton faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted on all charges.