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Eight arrested in online drug sales

  |   April 17, 2012 at 4:32 PM
LOS ANGELES, April 17 (UPI) -- Eight people were arrested Tuesday and charged in an alleged international online drug trafficking ring involving 34 countries and all 50 U.S. states.

A 66-page indictment, unsealed Tuesday in Los Angeles, followed the arrest in the Netherlands of alleged ringleader Marc Willems Tuesday and seven American citizens in the United States and Colombia on Monday. They are accused of creating and operating an online narcotics store nicknamed "The Farmer's Market," and sold controlled substances to approximately 3,000 customers around the world, the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Central District of California said in a statement.

The 12-count indictment stated that each defendant was part of a conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, including LSD, Ecstasy and "high-end marijuana" through encrypted computer orders. It said that between January 2007 and October 2009 alone, 5,226 orders, valued at over $1 million, were processed.

Each defendant was charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and money laundering conspiracy. Willems and Michael Evron, the American who was arrested as he attempted to leave Colombia, are additionally charged with participating in a continuing criminal enterprise.

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