LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — A Lexington couple has been sentenced to federal prison for their role in a darknet marketplace drug trafficking organization.
After pleading guilty to drug distribution, and conspiracy to commit drug distribution, Benjamin Flanigan, 27, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison on Thursday.
Haleigh Flanigan, 27, was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit drug distribution and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
According to the couple’s plea agreements, they admitted to being members of a darknet drug trafficking organization known as “PartyCrew.” The darknet is an internet overlay that is only accessible with specific software, configurations, or authorization. The darknet marketplace PartyCrew advertised the sale of numerous controlled substances in exchange for cryptocurrencies such as Monero and Bitcoin.
The Flanigans fulfilled orders for controlled substances, by packaging and mailing them through the U.S. mail to customers across the United States. Haleigh Flanigan received payment for her services in cryptocurrencies, which she attempted to conceal through the use of cryptocurrency anonymizing tools.
Joshua Cook, a third member of the conspiracy, has pleaded guilty to the same offenses as Haleigh Flanigan and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 25, 2023.
The FBI investigation into the involvement of the Flannigans and Cook resulted in the PartyCrew drug trafficking organization being completely dismantled.
Under federal law, the defendants must serve 85 percent of their prison sentences and will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for three years after their release.