Fresno attorney represents man behind huge dark web site recently taken down by authorities

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In a 24-page indictment, details surrounding a nearly three year dark web operation called "Alphabay" are unveiled. (KFSN)

In a 24-page indictment, details surrounding a nearly three year dark web operation called "Alphabay" are unveiled.

Federal investigators said it involved 25-year-old Alexandre Cazes. He is said to have made hundreds of millions of dollars off of things like illegal drugs, fraudulent ID's, and weapons. Authorities make mention of at least four of those transactions occurring in two Central Valley cities.

The first one was in December of 2015 and allegedly involved a vendor in Merced selling marijuana to an undercover agent in Buffalo, New York. Then there are two in May of 2016 where a vendor in Brooklyn, New York is accused of selling heroin on two separate occasions to an undercover agent in Fresno. The last exchange happened that same year in October where someone in San Francisco allegedly sold heroin and fentanyl to an undercover buyer in Fresno.

Cazes, the alleged founder and administrator of the illegal site, was arrested at his home in Thailand. However, his lawyer, Roger Bonakdar, was some 8,000 miles away in Fresno.

"I was contacted to represent Mr. Cazes in about the first week of July. At that point he knew he was being indicted with multiple counts of aiding and abetting, conspiracy to commit identity theft, trafficking of controlled substances."

Bonakdar said he spent countless hours on the phone with Cazes and was working with federal authorities to get him extradited to the United States. That was until July 11th when he was informed his client had died while in custody.

"I was quite shocked."

The Chief of Thailand's Narcotics Police said Cazes hung himself in jail just prior to a scheduled court hearing.

Cazes' attorney said the circumstance surrounding the death is troubling.

"We went from talking about how to defend him to being advised that he was deceased-- I didn't see that coming."

Bonakdar told us if his client were alive, "Had he been arraigned he would have entered a not guilty plea."

Meantime, the federal investigation into the dark net marketplace will continue without Cazes and Attorney General Jeff Session said there will be other arrests.

"You cannot hide. We will find you, dismantle your organization and network, and we will prosecute you."

Casas was facing 16 felony counts-- his attorney said if he were still alive and found guilty he faced exposure of an excess 30 years-- possibly life in prison.

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