Cory Skinner, a 32-year-old former postal worker from Pikesville, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and the opioid buprenorphine, fulfilling orders made through the dark web using the postal service, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Maryland announced today.
Federal authorities first learned of the scheme while investigating the death of a University of Arkansas police officer. Local police found an open Priority Mail package shipped from Baltimore, which led postal inspectors to packages destined for North Carolina and Arizona.
“The recipient of the North Carolina Package told investigators that he used bitcoin to purchase heroin from DoggFood, an online vendor, on the Dream Market, a site on the dark web,” federal prosecutors said.
The package contained about 2.8 grams of heroin, and the one headed for Arizona had four buprenorphine units.
Fingerprints on the package linked them back to Skinner, prompting a larger investigation between September 2017 and January 2018, the feds said. They found he was sending small quantities that added up.
“Maryland postal inspectors intercepted over 20 packages containing controlled substances that Skinner sent through the United States mail,” prosecutors said. “The approximate aggregate drug weights were 47.5 grams of heroin and 81 buprenorphine units.”
According to federal authorities, Skinner persuaded individuals who “were unusually vulnerable due to a physical or mental condition” to drop off packages with the drugs in July and August of 2017.
“By January 2018, Skinner had sold approximately 290.5 grams of heroin, 97.5 grams of cocaine, and 216 units of buprenorphine as the dark web vendor DoggFood on the Dream Market,” federal prosecutors said.
A search of Skinner’s residence turned up more than $6,000 in cash, a laptop to run the dark web site, scales, an array of postal boxes and stamps, and two firearms.
Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 13. Skinner faces a maximum of 40 years in federal prison, with a statutory mandatory minimum of five years.
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