KEY POINTS

  • A Nebraska pharmacist is facing charges for trying to burn down a rival's business
  • He ran a Dark Web opioid ring with a known drug dealer
  • He is being held without bail 

An Auburn, Nebraska, pharmacist is facing federal criminal charges after allegedly conspiring with a drug dealer to rob and destroy a competitor’s drugstore.

The New York Times reported that 42-year-old Hyrum Wilson was arrested last Friday (April 17) in Virginia and is being charged by federal prosecutors in the state with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, conspiracy to use fire and explosives — including Molotov cocktails — and possession of firearms.

Prosecutors say that Wilson had been partnering with drug dealer William Burgamy IV in the sale of opioids on the Dark Web. Court documents and text messages reveal that Wilson sought Burgamy’s help in robbing and burning down a rival pharmacy when the duo’s supply ran out, and they needed more prescription opioids to keep the illegal side business going.

“Wilson and Burgamy believed that the destruction of the victim’s pharmacy would cause Wilson’s own pharmacy business to flourish,” Samad Shahrani, a special agent with the FBI field office that conducted the investigation, wrote in a court affidavit. “In turn, Wilson’s distributor would increase the amount of controlled substances that Wilson could order to meet the increased demand.”

The arrest comes after a months-long FBI investigation that began in January.  Agents first gained insights into Wilson’s Dark-Web opioid ring. Wilson routinely touted to potential customers that his product came directly from a pharmacy and saw it as a point of pride, and valuable marketing, that he never had to buy his supply off the street.

The plan, which as plotted primarily though text exchange, was for Burgamy and another party, who was not named in court documents, to don skull masks, arm themselves with an assault rifle and a shotgun, and hit the rival pharmacy at night:

In one exchange, Wilson texted Burgamy: “My wholesaler looks at my volume and determines how much oxy I can order every 30 days.” “If I get all the pharmacy business, they’ll bump my allotment up.” Burgamy later texted Wilson: “You’ll be sole pharmacy, you got my word.”