Federal authorities investigating the sale of illegal drugs on the internet arrested a University of Minnesota bioscience student later charged with with running an ecstasy-trafficking operation out of his dorm room.
Spencer Nichols, 18, faces charges of first-degree drug sale of 50 or more grams of a narcotic in a 90-day span, plus second-degree drug possession. The charges were outlined in a criminal complaint filed this week in Hennepin County District Court.
Nichols, who was being held in lieu of $75,000 bail, was expected to make his initial court appearance on Friday afternoon.
The complaint said that the first-year student was arrested earlier this week by U.S. Department of Homeland Security agents, assisted by U police, following a probe into drug sales on a hidden part of the internet sometimes known as the “dark web.”
It was not immediately clear from the complaint what led authorities to Nichols. The Rochester native was in his first semester on campus and enrolled in the bioscience program, according to online records.
According to the charges, Nichols gave authorities permission to search his dorm room at Centennial Hall, where they found $26,950 in cash, a vacuum sealer, vacuum sealer bags and two digital scales. Investigators also intercepted a package addressed to his dorm room, which contained about 54 grams of ecstasy, sometimes known as “Molly,” the complaint said.
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