Silk Road’s Biggest Heroin Dealer, Steven 'Nod' Sadler, Was An FBI Informant

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According to new court documents, Nod, Silk Road’s top heroin dealer, had become an FBI informant following his arrest in July. The Smoking Gun reports that Steven Sadler, 40, known as Nod on Silk Road, was among the biggest wholesale dealers of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.

Silk Road, an infamous black market that operated in the Deep Web and was accessible through the Tor network, was shut down earlier this month, and its owner and operator, Ross Ulbricht, known as “Dread Pirate Roberts,” was arrested in San Francisco. The documents obtained by the Smoking Gun revealed that Sadler, known on Silk Road as “Nod,” became an FBI informant after his Seattle home was raided.

Sadler appeared in court as part of a hearing on Oct. 2, and he has a history of drug abuse, including admitting he had used a prescription painkiller, heroin and methamphetamine prior to the hearing. As part of his bond, Sadler was ordered not to take any illegal drugs or prescription pills that were not prescribed to him. The investigating officer ordered Sadler to cease such activity, and police conducted a home inspection on Oct. 9. Sadler was scheduled to undergo a health evaluation on Oct. 16. The probation officer assigned to Sadler recommended to the court that no action should be taken but did suggest increased health evaluations, outpatient treatment and a referral for a professional assessment.

On July 31, Sadler’s home was raided after a yearlong investigation by the FBI. According to the court documents, “It is further alleged that this offense involved one kilogram or more of a mixture or substance containing heroin, 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine and 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine.”

As reported by the Smoking Gun, on Silk Road, Nod had over 1,400 user reviews, and investigators tracked Sadler down by intercepting deliveries sent from various Seattle post offices and making undercover purchases. Earlier this month, Sadler, and his co-conspirator Jenna White, pleaded not guilty to five charges: conspiracy to distribute heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine; distribution of heroin and cocaine; two counts for distribution of cocaine; and possession of heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine.

As noted by Gawker, a Reddit user claimed he was a former customer of Nod’s and was arrested. Sadler was working with the FBI for at least two months prior to the shutdown of Silk Road, but no details were revealed in regard to his cooperation. However, the Smoking Gun speculates it could have involved deciphering Silk Road client lists and transactions and continuing to work as Nod in order to gain more information on suppliers and customers.

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