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Fentanyl Dealer Arrested at an Irving Motel Sentenced to 24 Years in Prison

Sean Shaughnessy

A man identified as a darknet fentynal dealer, arrested at an Irving Motel back in 2016, has been sentenced to 24 years in federal prison.  U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Leigha Simonton said that 55-year-old Sean Shaughnessy's sentence includes multiple drug crimes and possession of child pornography. 

Shaughnessy, who operated on the darknet, was indicted in April 2019 and convicted at trial in June 2023. He was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance analogue, distribution of controlled substances, and possession of child pornography.

The sentencing was conducted before U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay.

During the trial, evidence revealed that Shaughnessy sold various dangerous drugs such as fentanyl, carfentanil, and pentedrone over the dark web. Buyers used cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to purchase these substances, which were then shipped by Shaughnessy to addresses in the Dallas area and internationally.

Multiple former customers testified at Mr. Shaughnessy’s trial, noting the drugs Shaughnessy sold them, including fentanyl and its analogues, arrived to their DFW area homes very quickly and were of high potency.

Tragically, shortly after purchasing fentanyl analogues from Shaughnessy, a young man in his 20s died of an overdose involving the substance.

Homeland Security Investigations conducted an undercover operation that identified Shaughnessy, revealing that he directed significant amounts of illicit drug proceeds to himself in the Dallas area. 

Another agent testified that during an interview with law enforcement, Mr. Shaughnessy claimed that the agents would have to “check his taxes” to determine what Mr. Shaughnessy did for a living. Agents contacted the Internal Revenue Service, which indicated Mr. Shaughnessy had filed no taxes for the relevant time periods.

On July 17, 2016, an Irving Police Officer was patrolling the Motel 6 parking lot when he noticed a vehicle with Michigan plates. He decided to run the plates and discovered that the vehicle was associated with a warrant hit in the NCIC system for a felony sexual assault out of Michigan. The officer investigated further that the suspect driving the vehicle had checked into the motel using a North Carolina identification card. The officer called for backup. When Shaughnessy exited his room, the Officers approached to arrest him pursuant to the felony sexual assault warrant.

In the body-camera video of his July 17, 2016 arrest played for the jury, Shaughnessy, with white powder visible around his nose, removed and dropped a baggie of drugs from his pocket while Irving Police officers were placing handcuffs on him, and he then attempted to kick it out of officers’ view. When officers noticed the baggie, the defendant insisted, “that ain’t mine,” though it was plainly visible on the officers’ body-camera footage.

Homeland Security Investigations’ Dallas and New York Field Offices conducted the investigation in partnership with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Customs & Border Protection, the Irving Police Department, and the Sacramento District Attorney’s Office.





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