PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A 32-year-old Pennsylvania man – who used the moniker “NARCOBOSS” – recently appeared in U.S. District Court on allegations that he was supplying fentanyl in connection with at least three overdose cases in the metro.
Henry Konah Koffie remains in the Multnomah County Detention Center on a U.S. Marshals hold out of Oregon and Pennsylvania.
According to court documents filed in federal court in Portland, the Portland Police Bureau’s Drugs and Vice Division (DVD) began an investigation into the May 6, 2017 overdose death of a person in the 3300 block of Southeast 29th Avenue. Neither police nor the state medical examiner’s office would release the individual’s name. Both agencies cited the on-going investigation.
Investigators with DVD learned that the person who overdosed had been mixing alcohol, Xanax, and fentanyl. Court documents show that the person who died had been purchasing the drugs over the “Dark Net,” which are websites that are not located on the standard Internet and are hidden using special network connection links.
“The Dark Net contained websites that are online marketplaces where vendors can sell goods to sellers,” according to court documents that were filed in a separate case against Koffie out of Pennsylvania. “In many of these Dark Net marketplaces, the sellers sell products that are not legal to sell within the United States such as controlled substances like fentanyl.”
Investigators in Portland learned that the person who died had been purchasing drugs from the Dark Net site “Alpha Bay” from a vendor who used the moniker “NARCOBOSS.” The fentanyl was being advertised as “pure ‘China White,’” according to court documents.
When investigators began looking at the vendor page for “NARCOBOSS” they found that he had used the Mexican booking photo of infamous drug lord Joquin “Chapo” Guzman as the vendor page profile photo.
On May 29, during the investigation into the overdose death of the person who died in the 3300 block of Southeast 29th, DVD officers were called out to a home in the 5200 block of Northeast 45th Place on the report of another possible drug overdose death.
The person who died had been found by their roommate. Again, neither police nor the ME’s office would release the name or age of the person who died.
Investigators searched the man’s trash and located an envelope that had a return address of Philadelphia.
Koffie, and his alleged drug operation using the Dark Net, was being run out of Pennsylvania, according to court documents.
As investigators in Portland were looking into the second death they learned that the FBI in Pennsylvania was also looking into the “Alpha Bay” account belonging to “NARCOBOSS.”
In that investigation, federal agents in May conducted several undercover purchases of what they believed was fentanyl. The investigation on the East Coast also received a third overdose case in Portland that has been linked back to Koffie, according to court documents.
The third overdose case was non-fatal, records show. It involved an unnamed Portland State University student. A United State Postal Service parcel that was recovered was determined to have been sent from Koffie who was using a different moniker named “DNMKingpin.”
Federal investigators on the East Coast determined that “NARCOBOSS” had conducted 6,615 transactions involving controlled substances using the “Dark Net.”
Investigators in Grand Forks, North Dakota also believe that several other non-fatal drug overdoses in their jurisdiction are also connected to Koffie and his “NARCOBOSS” vendor profile, according to court documents.
Law enforcement officials tell KOIN 6 News that fentanyl products illegally sold throughout the United States have usually been shipped into the country from overseas, particularly China.
Koffiee appeared in U.S. District Court in Portland earlier this month where a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf. He is currently charged with one count each of conspiracy to import, manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substance, and distribution of controlled substance resulting in death.
A 5-day jury trial is set for October.