Alleged Darknet Xanax Kingpin faces extradition

The “Darknet Xanax Kingpin,” ostensibly a Quebecer who allegedly sold over 15 million counterfeit Xanax tablets that were mainly exported to the United States, failed to thwart extradition proceedings against him after Quebec Superior Court dismissed his constitutional arguments.

U.S. authorities are seeking the extradition of the Quebecer so that he can be prosecuted in the state of Connecticut for the sale and distribution of controlled substances. It is alleged that the Quebecer, who cannot be identified due to a publication ban, operated a “very large-scale” drug sales network, mainly using crypto-markets, otherwise known as Darknet markets.

Evidence contained in the certified extradition file shows that the Quebecer engaged in clandestine activities that generated huge profits for himself and his associates, assert U.S. authorities. In conversations on chat rooms, he described himself as the “Darknet Xanax Kingpin”, claiming to have sold over 15 million counterfeit Xanax tablets, mainly exported to the United States. He also allegedly distributed fentanyl or its derivatives, “a highly harmful drug causing serious harm and death to users.”

The Quebecer challenged the constitutionality of several provisions of the Extradition Act. He argued that an extradition to the U.S. and eventual incarceration will leave him in a precarious and “unacceptable” health situation, and increase the risk of suicide in prison, because he is afflicted with Asperger’s Syndrome, a developmental disorder that’s part of the autism spectrum disorder.

He also argued that the role currently vested in the Minister of Justice should largely be exercised by the extradition judge, at least as far as the constitutional rights guaranteed by the Charter are concerned. He also maintained that his extradition should be refused under section 24(1) of the Charter because he suffers from Asperger’s.

Quebec Superior Justice Mario Longpré dismissed the arguments. In a 56-page decision in Procureur général du Canada (États-Unis d’Amérique) c. Beaudry, 2024 QCCS 1368, Justice Longpré concluded that the accused failed to establish that the federal Justice Minister “would be unable to determine whether his extradition would contravene the principles of fundamental justice guaranteed by section 7 of the Charter.”

Justice Longpré added that the accused will be able to present all his arguments to the Minister, including his diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome and the problems this condition creates in relation to possible extradition. If the Minister decides to extradite the Quebecer, he will still be able to seek judicial review before the Quebec Court of Appeal, where he will be able to argue that the Minister’s decision does not meet Charter requirements, noted Justice Longpré.


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