VINTON – A Vinton man who bought drugs over the “dark web” has been sentenced to prison.
Judge Linda Reade on Tuesday sentenced William Kirk Vanatti, 36, to 10 years in prison for one count of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids. He will have to serve five years of supervised release following prison.
Prosecutors said Vanatti bought meth, marijuana and ecstasy using an encrypted network hidden from normal internet browsers. Most of the meth was passed on to another person who sold it, according to court records. Investigators seized a handgun Vanatti allegedly carried during a drug deal, and the located two homemade explosive devices, one containing staples for shrapnel, according to prosecutors.
Authorities became suspicious of Vanatti after he allegedly mailed meth to a woman as part of a revenge scheme. The woman received a package containing Legos and a small bag of meth in February, and she went to police, according to court records.
In March, a K-9 indicated the presence of drugs in parcels that were addressed to Vanatti at his Shellsburg Post Office box. The packages had bogus return addresses, and investigators found 2.6 pounds of meth inside one. Vanatti was questioned by a postal inspector when he arrived at the post office.
Vanatti’s attorney asked for leniency, arguing he was a first-time offender who has lived an otherwise law-abiding life.