Police arrested a 28-year-old man on Friday on allegations that he ran a pill manufacturing lab out of a Bremerton apartment.
Prosecutors said Evan C. Stansbery, with help from his older brother Matthew, sold pills made using drugs and equipment ordered over the “dark web,” internet channels inaccessible to the everyday user.
In charges filed on October 10, Washington State deputy prosecuting attorney Alexander C. Takos brought five felony charges against the former Bremerton High School student, including one count of “leading organized crime,” a class A felony punishable by up to life in prison.
Both Evan and Matthew Stansbery appeared in green jail scrubs before Judge William C. Houser in Kitsap County Superior Court on Monday afternoon, represented by a public defender. Both pleaded not guilty and are each being held on $100,000 bail. In setting bail amounts, Houser cited what he called a “fairly sophisticated criminal enterprise.”
Prosecutors say police began to gather evidence over the summer, when a Kitsap County sheriff’s deputy was informed in early July of a package being shipped from China to Evan Stansbery containing alprazolam, sold as Xanax.
Postal Service investigators intercepted the package, according to court filings. Police said a search of the parcel revealed a “laser printer cartridge” with “a brown powdered substance” concealed inside. The powder tested positive for the Schedule 4 controlled substance in quantities of “approximately 54.3 grams,” according to a certificate of probable cause filed by the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office.
Following delivery of the package, prosecutors said, police received a warrant to search the apartment on Barnett Street to which it was addressed.
The search revealed “a fully functioning pill manufacturing lab located in the kitchen area,” police said. Detectives said they found dye stamps for the drugs Oxycodone, Methadone and Alprazolam; blenders; binding and cutting agents; and three pill press machines, which Stansbery said could produce more than 80 pills per minute, according to police.
Police say they also found hundreds of pre-made pills, as well as methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin; digital scales; “recipes;” and approximately $7,591 in cash.
Police said Stansbery consented to an interview around the time of the search, and said his brother, Matthew, would order drugs via the dark web and have them shipped to various addresses where they lived or where Evan’s former girlfriend lived. He said they then manufactured the prescription pills, according to police.
One witness said, according to prosecutors, that Evan was responsible for handling the money while Matthew oversaw aspects of the manufacturing operation. Another witness, who was also implicated for aiding the operation, described Matthew, who is two years older than Evan, as a “chemical genius.”
Prosecutors said Matthew Stansbery acknowledged to police that “he provided the guidance on the chemical aspects of the manufacturing of the Xanax pills,” while another witness said Evan Stansbery “controlled all the money/proceeds from drug sales,” according to prosecutors. A witness said at least some of the manufcatured pills were delivered to a man named “Thaddeus” who sold them in Seattle, according to court documents.
A trial date has been set for Dec. 10.