PORTLAND, Ore. – A Philadelphia man suspected of distributing wholesale quantities of fentanyl was arraigned in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Friday following a joint investigation initiated by the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Portland and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS).
Henry Konah Koffie, 32, of Darby, Pa., is accused of importing and distributing a controlled substance resulting in death. Koffie was ordered detained awaiting trial at a sentencing hearing Tuesday in Philadelphia and will be transferred from the Federal Detention Center (FDC) in Philadelphia to the District of Oregon.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the District of Oregon, in May 2016, PPB, HSI Portland and USPIS initiated an investigation into a prolific fentanyl vendor operating under the moniker “NARCOBOSS” on the dark net marketplace AlphaBay. The investigation stemmed from two fatal overdoses in the Portland area wherein NARCOBOSS was identified as the source of the fatal drugs and where packages originating in the Philadelphia area were discovered.
Investigators discovered NARCOBOSS previously sold fentanyl falsely advertised as “China White Heroin” on AlphaBay using the moniker “DNMKINGPIN.” One such sale resulted in a non-fatal overdose in Portland in May 2016.
Between July 7, 2016, and June 16, 2017, NARCOBOSS completed more than 3,700 AlphaBay transactions for a “China White Synthetic Heroin Fentanyl Mix.” The transactions totaled more than 7 kilograms of the fentanyl mix and generated $284,800 worth of bitcoin. A financial analysis of the bitcoin transactions linked Koffie with the NARCOBOSS account.
In just over a year, Koffie had more than 14 packages of suspected fentanyl originating in China and Hong Kong shipped to addresses belonging to his family members.
NARCOBOSS was also the target of investigations in the Western District of Pennsylvania conducted by Pittsburgh FBI, USPIS and HSI as well as the District of North Dakota by HSI, USPIS and the Grand Forks Narcotics Task Force. He was arraigned in the Western District of Pennsylvania on one count of distributing fentanyl.
In July 2017, HSI Philadelphia executed two federal search warrants at Koffie’s residence seizing approximately 500 grams of suspected fentanyl, miscellaneous documents related to the distribution of fentanyl, suspected micro cellulous (a binding agent used in pill production), scales, electronic media and bank statements. Bank seizures resulted in the collection of approximately $137,000 from Koffie’s accounts.
The case is being jointly investigated by PPB; USPIS; FBI; the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the District of Oregon, Western District of Pennsylvania, District of North Dakota and Eastern District of Pennsylvania; Grand Forks Narcotics Task Force; Philadelphia Police Department and the Oregon/Idaho and Philadelphia/Camden High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA)Task Forces. Each agency has contributed unique law enforcement authorities and resources to the investigation.
This case is being prosecuted by Scott Kerin, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.
A criminal complaint is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
As part of its customs authority, HSI special agents investigate narcotics smuggling organizations and the methods they use to smuggle contraband across U.S. borders. Much of the illegal drug market in the U.S. is based on illegal narcotics grown or manufactured in foreign countries and smuggled across our nation’s borders. Smuggling methods can include the use of high-speed vessels, cargo containers, aircraft, commercial trucking, commercial vessel and human carriers.
“If you see something, say something.” Concerned citizens are encouraged to report questionable or suspicious circumstances. HSI has three ways for members of the public to send us a tip: ICE’s smartphone app, our tip line which is 1-866-DHS-2-ICE and on www.ice.gov. Our tip line is anonymous and staffed by trained investigators 24 hours a day, seven days a week.