Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Largo man was one of the largest Internet drug distributors in the U.S., authorities say

LARGO — The U.S. Attorney General's Office has announced a plea deal with a Largo man accused of trafficking large amounts of MDMA, also known as ecstasy, through the now-shuttered Silk Road website.

Angel William Quinones, 34, agreed on Friday to plead guilty to conspiring to import at least 9,193 grams — which is more than 20 pounds — of MDMA into Florida between January 2011 and October 2013. Authorities believe Quinones, who operated under the user names UnderGroundSyndicate and BTCmaster, was one of the largest redistributors of illegal drugs through Silk Road in the United States.

The agreement follows other prominent arrests connected with Silk Road, a sophisticated worldwide network that conducted transactions through bitcoins, a controversial digital currency not backed by any country or central bank.

In October, Ross Ulbricht was charged with conducting an ongoing criminal enterprise. Authorities have accused Ulbricht of founding Silk Road, where he operated under the user name Dread Pirate Roberts and allegedly planned a murder-for-hire scheme against a federal agent and a drug dealer who had threatened to reveal names of Silk Road users.

In November, federal authorities charged Olivia Bolles, a 32-year-old Delaware physician, with the illegal distribution of controlled substances through Silk Road, which has been called the illicit equivalent of Amazon for its efficiency.

Quinones appears to have lived in Pinellas County for more than a decade and to have no criminal record in Florida. He was investigated by several federal agencies.

On Oct. 2, 2013, federal agents raided his home at 1021 Breeze Drive. They seized three computers, four cellphones, two Nissan automobiles, a rifle, three pistols, ammunition, thumb drives and more than $157,000 in cash.

Quinones faces up to 20 years in prison. His sentence could be reduced if he provides "substantial assistance" to investigators.

The announcement of his plea deal comes days after Cornelis Jan Slomp, 23, a Dutch national and Quinones' trading partner on Silk Road, reached an agreement with federal authorities in Chicago.

Slomp was the largest distributor of controlled substances on Silk Road, according to records found on the server, authorities say. Slomp had been shipping MDMA to several Post Office boxes in the Tampa Bay area. Quinones received the merchandise on credit, sold it to customers across the United States and split the proceeds with Slomp.

Researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report. Andrew Meacham can be reached at or (727) 892-2248.

Largo man was one of the largest Internet drug distributors in the U.S., authorities say 05/13/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 13, 2014 9:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Hulk Hogan talks Tampa Bay, depression and politics on Fox News' 'Objectified'


    For better or worse, Terry "Hulk Hogan" Bollea is our guy.

    Hulk Hogan shows Harvey Levin his wrestling boots on Fox News' "Objectified."
  2. Pumpkin pileup: Fiery crash causes mess, closes portion of I-75 in Pasco


    Drivers on Interstate 75 in Pasco County should expect continued delays on Friday as road crews work to clean up a mess of debris — and pumpkins — left behind after a fiery semitrailer truck crash in the early morning hours.

    Road crews clean up a mess of crash debris - and pumpkins - left behind after a fiery semitrailer truck crash on Interstate 75 in Pasco County on Sept. 22, 2017. [Florida Highway Patrol]
  3. Cannon Fodder podcast: Key matchups in Bucs-Vikings game


    In our latest Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast, Greg Auman breaks down five key matchups that will help decide Sunday's Bucs game against the Minnesota Vikings.

    Defensive lineman Chris Baker is a question mark heading into Sunday's game against the Vikings.
  4. Rick and Tom podcast: Will Bucs go 2-0? Are Gators on upset alert?


    It's football friday as Rick Stroud and Tom Jones break down the Bucs' game in Minnesota, including the improved offensive line.

    Ali Marpet moved from guard to center on an improved Bucs offensive line.
  5. In this Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, photo distributed on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivers a statement in response to U.S. President Donald Trump's speech to the United Nations, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Kim, in an extraordinary and direct rebuke, called Trump "deranged" and said he will "pay dearly" for his threats, a possible indication of more powerful weapons tests on the horizon. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. [Associated Press]