by Dolapo Adelana
A Nigerian man, Chukwuemeka Okparaeke has found himself in hot water with authorities in the United States.
Okparaeke who deals in drugs would be arraigned in court soon for drug peddling.
His case is interesting because he actually wrote a fiction about his arrest on darknetmarkets on Reddit.
Jerome Bannister saw them before they saw him. They were sitting in a Honda Accord near the exit of the strip mall. He couldn’t tell their race, or their age but he knew who they were: feds.
Jerome joined the drug trade in order to pay off student loans. The fiction depicted someone who had knowledge of the drug trade. It gave details on Jerome’s VPN setup for buying heroin online, as well as his habit of wearing latex gloves when he mailed a package
He was arrested last week for conspiracy to distribute large quantities of opiates following months of investigation by the US Postal Investigation Service.
An employee of the service at the Middletown, NY post office in November had noticed a customer mailing large quantity of packages while wearing latex gloves.
The employee tipped off investigators who became suspicious.
The return address for the package was listed as “Middletown Sweets” — but no such business existed at the named address. A group of Virginia police officers, who had been making drug buys on the AlphaBay market, a dark web drug market similar to Silk Road were brought a package by a user of the web named, “Fentmaster”. The package contained a Fentanyl-like opiate, with “Middletown Sweets” listed as its return address.
Police were led to Okparaeke by stamps. Each of the packages flagged by the Middletown office used the same kind of stamp — a $6.45 “La Cueva de Indio” stamp. Further investigations showed an account registered in Okparaeke’s name had spent more than $3,200 on those stamps in the last months of 2016.
He was stopped at JFK by customs in January when he went to pick up two packages mailed to him from Hong Kong. The packages contained a kilogram of fentanyl analogue in each one. Okparaeke claimed he was being paid to forward the packages to a buyer named Xavier Johnson, and was released without charges. Officers searched his phone and he was invited for an interview at the station.
He continued his activities unhindered and was rearrested in March after police placed an order from Fentmaster on AlphaBay. True to his trade, Okparaeke was seen mailing a package of opiates to the same address two days later.
But what seems to be the most indicting part for Okparaeke came from his Reddit account. The search of Okparaeke’s phone led police to his Reddit, where he posted under the name “bmoreproduct1.”
A careful look at the story revealed striking similarities between Jerome and Okparaeke. They were both former doctors, both used false return addresses, and both had run-ins with local police. Xavier Johnson even made an appearance as the main character’s brother.
“He could barely go anywhere without thinking he was about to be arrested,” one passage reads. “He had made every precaution but still believed he would end up in jail.”
It is yet to be known how damning the fiction will prove in court in the trial of the 28-year-old.
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.