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Feds Shut Down Website Used By Floridians To Buy And Sell Heroin, Fentanyl

AlphaBay seizure notice
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

An internet black market used by some Floridians to buy and sell heroin and fentanyl has been shut down in an international law enforcement operation.

AlphaBay operated for more than two years on the “dark net” as a trading post for drugs, weapons and stolen identities. Contraband was purchased from independent vendors on the site and shipped through the mail.

The U.S. Department of Justice led the operation to seize AlphaBay. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the site had more than 250,000 listings for illegal drugs when it was taken down.


A lethal dose of fentanyl.
Credit U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency
The Florida Channel
A lethal dose of fentanyl can be as little as this.

“Earlier this year, 122 vendors advertised fentanyl,” Sessions said, “and 238 advertised heroin.

In announcing the takedown at a press conference Thursday, Sessions referred to the Florida death of a 24-year-old woman in February.

“A victim in Orange County, Florida, died of an overdose from a drug bought on AlphaBay,” he said.

Chrissano Leslie, a 26-year old Jamaican national living in Miramar, was sentenced to more than five years in federal prison in May for selling fentanyl and other drugs on AlphaBay.

Officials estimate around 4,000 people died from opioid overdoses in Florida last year.

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Peter Haden is an award-winning investigative reporter and photographer currently working with The Center for Investigative Reporting. His stories are featured in media outlets around the world including NPR, CNN en Español, ECTV Ukraine, USA Today, Qatar Gulf Times, and the Malaysia Star.