(CN) — The plan between a licensed Nebraska pharmacist and a dark-net drug dealer was simple enough: firebomb a rival pharmacist who they saw as a competitor so their illegal business could flourish.
Hyrum Wilson, 41, of Auburn, Nebraska, sent thousands of prescription pills supplied from his licensed business to a man who operated a darknet pharmacy that illegally sold the drugs online, according to a federal criminal complaint.
Wilson was arrested Friday on charges of conspiring to firebomb and destroy the pharmacy along with a firearms-related offense. Federal prosecutors say Wilson operated his own business, Family Value Pharmacy, but sent shipments of prescription drugs to William Anderson Burgamy IV who ran the darknet website NeverPressedRX.
According to an FBI agent’s affidavit, Burgamy made 2,569 sales on the darknet website and sent shipments of oxycodone and the amphetamine Adderall to undercover agents earlier this year.
Test results showed the pills were legitimate to what was advertised online and Burgamy, who lives in the state of Maryland, was arrested on April 9 for the unlawful distribution of controlled substances and money laundering. Prosecutors say Burgamy named Wilson as his supplier.
While Wilson provided Burgamy prescription drugs to sell online, he also continued to hit his limits with his prescription wholesaler for his licensed pharmacy business, according to prosecutors. That’s how the two men arrived at the plan to firebomb the “victim pharmacy” and become the only legitimate business in town.
During the execution of a search warrant at Burgamy’s home, federal agents found empty pharmacy-sized bottles and packaging materials, two AR-15 style rifles, one .308 caliber SCAR rifle; two 12-gauge shotguns; and three 9mm handguns.
Agents also found a notebook labeled “NPRX Private” with a January 10, 2020 journal entry titled “Top Priority.”
“Hyrum [referring to WILSON] responded w/ no more orders until Operation Firewood is complete. FUCK!!! Make plans (extremely thourough [sic] to fullfill [sic] the fucking plan)” which was followed by a section titled “Notes” and the word “Nebraska” printed in large letters.
“Make The Plans & Set A Fucking Date,” were also handwritten in the notebook. A photograph of the page is included in the FBI agent’s affidavit, along with a list of items including masks, tactical gloves, rifle, pistol with a holster, spare rifle magazines, a knife, gasoline, map with plans and color contacts.
Agents found text messages between Burgamy and Wilson which began on Oct. 29, 2019. In one exchange, Burgamy asked Wilson “if operation firewood is still in play and if it would help the amount you are able to process.”
Wilson wrote back that he “hit his limit” for just his customers and he agreed “operation firewood would help” with his volume, but he could not afford to pay a third party to help with the firebombing.
By November, Burgamy asked Wilson for details on the “victim pharmacy” and Burgamy texted Wilson a photo of a loaded FN SCAR rifle which had a black skull and was later found at his home by federal agents.
By January, Burgamy asked Wilson to map him a getaway route. Wilson described in a text message how if the other pharmacy in town was eliminated his wholesaler would bump up his volume, which would leave him enough oxycodone left over for his “legitimate patients.”
On Feb. 25, after several weeks of communication between the two men plotting their heist and continuing to send shipment orders for the “darknet” website, Burgamy wrote to Wilson, “You’ll be the sole pharmacy, you got my word.”
By early March, Burgamy sent Wilson a photograph of a car trunk full of guns.
But “Operation Firewood” was stalled by late March due to the global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus when Burgamy wrote to Wilson that he could not make any more orders and “can take other pharm out” afterwards.
The two men’s business lasted from August 2019 through April 2020 and Wilson was paid through Bitcoin, wire transfers and bundles of cash sent through the mail, according to prosecutors.
If convicted, Wilson faces a maximum penalty of life in prison, but federal prosecutors note actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. The investigation was conducted by the FBI Washington Field Office’s Hi-Tech Opioid Task Force.