The self-proclaimed dark web “Xanax King” has been arrested over fresh drug manufacturing charges. The man from Martinez, California, was on supervised release following a 2015 court conviction on charges of the manufacture and sale of fake pills that are made in the likeness of Xanax.
The 41-year-old Jeremy Donagal, also known as XK (Xanax King) was charged after detectives discovered that he was selling the fake pills on the darknet. Authorities pounced on the man on May 14 at a Concord warehouse where he is reported to have conducted counterfeit pill manufacture operations.
According to local law enforcement, Donagal had signed a December 2018 lease for the warehouse, which is located on Solano Avenue.
It is alleged that the warehouse served as his headquarters, as detectives discovered an assortment of equipment that would enable the man conduct the illegal operation that include a number of pill presses, plastic trays that bore dyes and punches, thousands of presses pills, packaging and shipping paraphernalia, and other materials that are similar to those needed by mail-order businesses.
The suspect is reported to have manufactured and sold fake alprazolam pills, which have the same active ingredient as Xanax – used as an anti-anxiety drug.
A Robust Drug Operation Dating Back Six Years
The suspect’s previous sentence had constituted a three-year term of supervised release that occurred on June 2018 with the terms of release including a supervised release order that would require the man to keep off any additional activity of federal crime. In addition, he was required to pick a lawful occupation that would enable him to stay busy.
In 2014, Donagal was among a group of six people that were arrested through a joint law enforcement operation in the East Bay in which the suspect was alleged to be involved in the manufacture, distribution and possession of alprazolam (Xanax) pills, which were made to resemble the alprazolam pills manufactured by Pfizer, Inc.
In addition, the suspect faced two counts of international money laundering following a series of wire transfers to China.
At the time, it is believed that Donagal’s illicit business had peaked at a drug manufacturing and distribution operation churning 1 million fake pills per week.
Sold Drugs via Dark web
Donagal appeared in court on May 15 to the charges on illicit drug manufacture. Government prosecutors filed a motion to reject the suspect’s release from jail, arguing that the man had failed to honor the conditions of his release the first time – he is accused of putting up a counterfeit drug operation just after he was released from prison.
According to a press release by the U.S. Department of Justice, Donagal set up his drug manufacture operation to meet the dark web demand for counterfeit pills. Specifically, he configured a laboratory and a pill press operation that would help him produce counterfeit pills.
In terms of market distribution, the suspect is reported to have created a dark web vendor platform that would be used to sell the pills across the United States. In addition, the accused went on to create vendor pages within darknet platforms such as Samsara and Empire Markets.
It is on May 14, 2020, that U.S. authorities acted upon search warrants that were issued against the man’s residence and warehouse. The operation yielded the aforementioned items, with packaging materials bearing the same brand name that he used on the dark web. He was arrested the same day.
At this point, if found guilty, the suspect is facing a four-year imprisonment, including one year of supervised release for his crime of possessing equipment intended for the manufacture of counterfeit drugs, as well as a three-year imprisonment and one year of supervised release for being charged with manufacturing and selling fake drugs.