Lynnwood man gets prison for running tech side of dark web drug ring

Jonathan Williams, 39, was sentenced to 2½ years Tuesday for being part of a group that sold LSD and MDMA from Western Washington.

Supermarket surveillance footage of Joyce Oldrich depositing two packages on Aug. 16, 2021 in Kenmore, Washington. One package contained the undercover order placed by investigators. (U.S. Attorney’s Office)

Supermarket surveillance footage of Joyce Oldrich depositing two packages on Aug. 16, 2021 in Kenmore, Washington. One package contained the undercover order placed by investigators. (U.S. Attorney’s Office)

LYNNWOOD — A Lynnwood man was sentenced to federal prison Tuesday for handling the technology side of a “dark web” drug dealing operation.

U.S. District Court Judge James Robart gave Jonathan Williams 2½ years for conspiracy to contribute controlled substances.

“Mr. Williams used his computer skills to make dangerous drugs available to anyone with a computer,” Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa Gorman said in a press release. “He may have physically kept his hands off the drugs but, using his computer keyboard, he enriched himself while putting others at risk.”

In July 2022, federal prosecutors indicted Williams, 39, and two others. Investigators had placed orders for drugs through dark web, a part of the internet designed to hide users’ activities, according to court records. Based on the packages federal agents received, they identified 70-year-old Joyce Oldrich, of Marysville, as the person who mailed the drugs.

Supermarket surveillance footage of Joyce Oldrich depositing two packages on Aug. 16, 2021 in Kenmore, Washington. One package contained the undercover order placed by investigators. (U.S. Attorney’s Office)

Supermarket surveillance footage of Joyce Oldrich depositing two packages on Aug. 16, 2021 in Kenmore, Washington. One package contained the undercover order placed by investigators. (U.S. Attorney’s Office)

Agents surveilled Oldrich and identified Linus Lee, 51, of Shoreline, as an accomplice. On multiple occasions, investigators witnessed Oldrich drive to Lee’s home, and emerge carrying a bag she didn’t have on her before, according to court papers. Investigators served a warrant on Lee’s home, and seized 5,000 tabs of LSD and more than 4 kilograms of MDMA, also known as ecstasy or molly.

MDMA is a synthetic drug that acts as both a stimulant and a hallucinogen. It distorts time and perception, and enhances enjoyment from sensory experiences.

Information on Lee’s and Oldrich’s cell phones obtained by federal agents led investigators to Williams, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In encrypted messages, Lee and Williams discussed the price for their drugs. Investigators searched Williams’ residence, and found no drugs, but “linked $21,000 in cash to his drug selling activities.”

Mailers, labels, and a list of names and corresponding amounts of controlled substances to be shipped found on Linus Lee’s the living room table. (U.S. Attorney’s Office)

Mailers, labels, and a list of names and corresponding amounts of controlled substances to be shipped found on Linus Lee’s the living room table. (U.S. Attorney’s Office)

Federal agents found evidence of Williams’ role in managing the drug business on the dark web while searching his phone.

Lee was also sentenced to 2½ years. Oldrich was given time served, with three years of supervised release.

“MDMA, in the court’s experience, is specifically marketed to young people,” U.S. District Judge James Robart said. “The drugs could end up in the hands of vulnerable people.”

The trio aren’t the first locals to get prison time for selling drugs through the dark web. In May 2021, a Mill Creek man was sentenced to five years for dealing heroin on the dark web.

Jonathan Tall: 425-339-3486; jonathan.tall@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @EDHJonTall.

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