Tennessee Resident Arrested for Purchasing Meth on the Darknet
A 68-year-old male resident of Claiborne County, East of Tennessee, was arrested for purchasing illegal drugs on the dark web and using postal services to deliver them to his home. Gene E. Schneff would buy large quantities of crystal meth from a darknet drug vendor based in San Diego, California. He would then stock them in his spacious mobile home after which he would sell them all over Claiborne County.
About a week before his arrest, a mail inspector from California informed another mail inspector working at the Knoxville parcel office that they had just sent a parcel which they suspected to contain methamphetamine. Knoxville mail inspectors confirmed that the package contained crystal meth and informed the police who performed investigations pertaining to the case. In aid of investigations, inspectors gave police the delivery address and the date that the package was meant to be delivered.
The package was first taken to a sniff dog which detected the illegal drugs. Officers then formed a plan to trap the drug dealer.
On January 10, the date of delivery, a police officer dressed as a mailman delivered the package to a house trailer at Duncan Road, New Tazewell. Back up officers watched the scene unfold from a short distance away. Unknown to Schneff that he was being tricked, he accepted the package as the rightful owner which led to his arrest.
Back up officers conducted an authorized search warrant in his home and seized some heroin, a transactions ledger, mobile phones, and computers. They also took with them over 50g of methamphetamine that had just been delivered and an undisclosed amount of money believed to be part of the proceeds from the crime business.
Schneff’s case was recently heard in a federal court of law. He confessed to using the dark web to avoid the risks that come with dealing in huge amounts of money and drugs, such as drawing too much attention from law enforcement agencies.
During proceedings, investigators produced evidence to incriminate him. This included the seized items, evidence of accepting a package containing drugs, and also an affidavit written by the mail inspector in California. The affidavit reported that there had been a number of parcels sent from a certain address in San Diego, and they all contained methamphetamine. One of the parcels was the one delivered to Schnell.
As a result, Schnell was charged with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine. He currently sits at the Knoxville County Jail awaiting the final hearing of his case. The deadline for his plea is in two weeks.
Investigators have sent a couple of other packages to suspected drug dealers. This, they say, will help them learn of other drug vendors in Tennessee and bring them to justice just as they did with Schnell. This effort is in line with current works of law enforcement in Tennessee aimed at reducing the use of illicit substances.
They are also collaborating with law enforcement officials in San Diego to get hold of the dark web drug vendor distributing crystal meth and similar lawbreakers.