Oct. 26, 2021 – These sites exist on the dark web or darknet, an area of the internet accessed through a specialized browser called Tor. Tor offers additional levels of privacy by obscuring the user’s IP address and encrypting information. But the markets themselves look like standard e-commerce sites, complete with pictures, customer reviews, and listings for not only drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine but what sellers claim are brand name prescription medications.  

“These markets give an illusion that what you’re looking at is from the supply chain or it’s from a professional in some way, shape, or form,” said Katherine Brennan, a management analyst with the FBI who supports the JCODE initiative. “But these are pills pressed with fentanyl in somebody’s home or a warehouse. They’re very dangerous. There is no oversight or testing. They’re not coming from a place where people are following policies and procedures to create medication or other products in a way that’s safe.”

Fentanyl is a powerful, dangerous synthetic opioid that is now present in many street drugs and also used in most of the pain pills sold illegally online. 


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