A Nebraska pharmacist was arrested on Friday on charges related to an alleged conspiracy to use explosives, specifically Molotov cocktails, to firebomb and destroy a competitor pharmacy.
According to court documents, Hyrum T. Wilson, 41, of Auburn, told an alleged co-conspirator: “This is the last shipment he will get from me as long as the other pharmacy is still standing.”
Wilson allegedly supplied thousands of prescription pills, including opioids, from his business, Hyrum’s Family Value Pharmacy, to William Anderson Burgamy IV. Burgamy allegedly operated as the Darknet vendor NeverPressedRX (NPRX) from August 2019 through April 2020, and had thousands of illegal recorded sales on a major Darknet market. Burgamy was charged in the Eastern District of Virginia last week and ordered detained.
The firebombing plot was uncovered through search warrants that were executed following Burgamy’s arrest.
According to court documents, Wilson conspired with Burgamy to conduct a firebombing of another pharmacy in Auburn, Nebraska. The goal of the plot was to destroy Wilson’s local competition, which Wilson and Burgamy allegedly believed would increase the volume of prescription drugs that Wilson’s business could obtain, thereby allowing Wilson and Burgamy’s drug trafficking operation to continue and expand.
Wilson and Burgamy allegedly agreed that the plot, named “Operation Firewood,” would involve the use of Molotov cocktails to burn down the victim pharmacy, and that Burgamy would carry numerous firearms during the attack.
Wilson allegedly created “getaway” maps and routes for Burgamy to use to help him evade law enforcement detection following the intended firebombing. Wilson also suggested that Burgamy steal prescription medications from the victim pharmacy before setting it on fire, and Burgamy offered to share with Wilson the profits from any stolen drugs.
Wilson is charged with conspiracy to use fire and explosives, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and a firearms-related offense. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.
A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Kevin Vorndran, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office Criminal Division; Mark S. McCormack, Special Agent in Charge, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, Metro Washington Field Office; Peter R. Rendina, Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Jesse R. Fong, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division, made the announcement.
The FBI’s Omaha Field Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nebraska provided significant assistance in executing the arrest. Assistant U.S. Attorney Raj Parekh is prosecuting the case.
This investigation was conducted by the FBI Washington Field Office’s Hi-Tech Opioid Task Force, which is composed of FBI agents and task force partners, including special agents and officers of the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations, DEA, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and detectives from local assisting police agencies. The task force is charged with identifying and investigating the most egregious Dark Web marketplaces, and the vendors operating on the marketplaces who are engaged in the illegal acquisition and distribution of controlled substances, to include fentanyl, methamphetamine, and other opioids. This investigation was also supported by the interagency Joint Criminal Opioid and Darknet Enforcement (JCODE) team.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:20-mj-140.
A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Justice.gov (April 2020) Pharmacist Arrested and Charged with Firebombing Plot