“Involved In A Highly Sophisticated Drug Trafficking Operation”: Former Pro Skateboarder Sentenced For Meth Ring

On Wednesday, a former professional skateboarder, Evan Jaime Hernandez, was sentenced to eight years, or 97 months, in federal prison for selling almost two pounds of methamphetamine and laundering Bitcoin on the dark web with other drug traffickers.

United States District Judge David O. Carter sentenced Hernandez after he pleaded guilty in June 2021 to one count of distribution of methamphetamine and one count of laundering of monetary instruments.

From Skateboarding To Drug Dealing

According to court documents, from at least March 2018 to March 2019, Hernandez distributed narcotics, conspiring with drug dealers to distribute the controlled substances over one of the world’s largest darknet marketplaces.

Hernandez reportedly supplied drugs sold over the darknet by drug dealers while also distributing drugs on his own. People like convicted drug dealer William Glarner IV, who received drugs from Hernandez, pleaded guilty in June 2019 to one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

He is now serving a 10-year prison sentence for the offense.

Fall From Grace

At one time, Hernandez skated for the famous skateboard brand Baker. On his social media platform Hernandez claims that he is signed to Lil Wayne’s brand TRUKFIT.

According to reports, in March 2018, Hernandez sold approximately 895 grams or 1.97 pounds of methamphetamine for $5,000 to an individual he thought was a money launderer. However, he was working with a federal law enforcement agent.

Additionally, Hernandez is accused of laundering Bitcoin for darknet drug trafficking operations. The federal agent posed as a money launderer to Hernandez, and he utilized the services to exchange Bitcoin into cash.

The Digital Hustler

According to reports, in 2018, Hernandez conducted four Bitcoin-to-cash transactions with the federal agent. The transaction was an exchange of 7.95 Bitcoin for $50,000 in September 2018.

Hernandez used cryptocurrency and an unlicensed currency exchanger to turn his profits liquid. This was done to hide the source of his illicitly gained revenue, and Hernandez’s four Bitcoin-to-cash currency exchanges totaled $171,300.

“[Hernandez] was involved in a highly sophisticated drug trafficking operation, where he personally took on various roles to ensure its success: obtaining multiple types of narcotics, selling them directly to customers, and laundering money on the backend in a sophisticated manner,” prosecutors wrote in Hernandez’s sentencing memorandum.

Hide And Seek

Law enforcement searched a location that one of Hernandez’s drug dealers used as a stash house in 2019 and found ten vacuum-sealed bags. The bags were already in Postal Service and Federal Express envelopes.

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Agents recovered approximately 6.7 kilograms or 14.8 pounds of methamphetamine during the search. According to reports, Hernandez distributed and filled orders placed on the darknet.

End Game Ugly

Now Hernandez is ordered to forfeit all the trappings of his secret life. He must give up a 2010 Mercedes-Benz, approximately $35,000 in cash, and various watches, necklaces, rings, and other jewelry to the federal government.

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The investigation was a combination of law enforcement departments: Homeland Security Investigations, the Costa Mesa, La Habra, Brea, and the Cypress Police Departments in California, all aligned for the investigation.

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