A Chicago man who sold hardcore drugs on the now-defunct Silk Road website, including the heroin that killed a budding Microsoft engineer in 2013, has been sentenced to six years in prison.
Kevin Campbell, a 47-year-old former substance-abuse counselor, learned his fate in Seattle federal court Tuesday nearly three years after prosecutors say he sold drugs to Jordan Mettee, a 27-year-old Microsoft engineer who subsequently died of a heroin overdose.
Mettee’s lifeless body was discovered in his Bellevue apartment in August 2013 in front of a computer screen displaying the Silk Road website and messages from an online vendor that prosecutors later identified as Campbell, according to charging documents in the case.
Detectives eventually determined that Campbell had shipped contraband hidden inside DVD cases to customers and found one inside Mettee’s apartment containing Campbell’s fingerprints, prosecutors said.
An investigation into the vendor ultimately led authorities to Campbell’s residence in May 2014 where a search warrant uncovered evidence of narcotics trafficking, including drugs, shipping supplies and empty DVD cases, prosecutors alleged.
Campbell pleaded guilty in February to distributing controlled substances and had faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.
“This case is an outrage and a tragedy at the same time,” U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes said previously of the case against Campbell. “What allowed this defendant to work at a drug treatment center with people in the grips of addiction, and at the same time peddle dangerous drugs across the country via the dark web?”
Silk Road facilitated hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal transactions before being shuttered by federal authorities in October 2013 in tandem with the arrest of its administrator, Ross Ulbricht. Mettee’s death and those of five others were referenced by prosecutors who successfully secured a life sentence for Ulbricht in 2015.
Last month, the Justice Department took down a similar site, AlphaBay, described by federal prosecutors as 10 times the size of Silk Road. It’s suspected administrator, Alexandre Cazes, was arrested in Thailand last month but died before being extradited to face federal charges.
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