EAST STROUDSBURG — A 20-year-old East Stroudsburg University student ordered LSD over the "dark web," a largely anonymous and illicit sector of the Internet, according to police.
Michael Mancini of Landenberg, Chester County, is charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility and related offenses. He was arrested Wednesday, arraigned late Wednesday night and released on unsecured bail.
The Monroe County district attorney's office said that earlier this year university police received a complaint that Mancini was ordering LSD online and selling it. Authorities said a resident director for Lenape Hall at the college noticed Tuesday that Mancini had received a letter from Hawaii. The director contacted police and police obtained a search warrant.
Investigators said they found a sealed plastic bag in the envelop labeled "Mint Condition" with two game cards and between them a small piece of paper that tested positive as LSD.
Police arrested Mancini as he sat at his computer in his dorm room Wednesday. They seized the computer, a cellphone, cash, a glass device for smoking marijuana, a plastic bag and flavored cigars.
According to police, Mancini said that initially he ordered 10 hits of LSD, took two for himself and sold the eight others. The second time he ordered 25 hits and made arrangements to meet with several people to sell the drugs.
Police say Mancini admitted ordering the LSD twice over the dark web, a series of websites that use encryption software that hides their server locations, thus providing a level of anonymity.
Often a user must have an encrypted browser to gain access to the sites. Websites on the dark web cannot be found using normal search engines. The Silk Road was a series of dark websites that enabled an estimated $1.2 billion in drug, child porn and software sales before it was shut down in 2014.
— Matt Coughlin