ISSAQUAH, WA — An Issaquah man accused of trafficking large amounts of illegal drugs through an online drug market pleaded guilty Monday to federal drug conspiracy and firearms charges at the U.S. District Court in Seattle.
As part of the plea agreement, federal prosecutors said Nicholas Partlow, 28, of Issaquah, admitted to trafficking drugs more than 400 times using the “darknet,” selling narcotics locally and owning illegal firearms.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said investigators seized multiple packages Partlow mailed in 2020, which contained heroin, fentanyl pills and other controlled substances. Investigators working the case said they successfully ordered heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs from Partlow online and obtained a search warrant for his Issaquah home in November 2020.
Prosecutors said a search of the house uncovered a cache of controlled substances, including ketamine, GHB, fentanyl, heroin and meth, along with electronics used to sell the drugs online and earnings both in cash and cryptocurrency. Law enforcement also found and seized five guns from the property, including a sawed-off shotgun and a pistol with a silencer.
According to prosecutors, Partlow continued selling and shipping drugs even after the search warrant was served and was arrested by Bellevue police in March 2021 while attempting to buy another gun. A few months later, he was arrested on a federal warrant after crashing a car in Renton while carrying narcotics and a taser, police said.
Under the plea agreement, Partlow pleaded guilty to two felony charges: conspiring to distribute controlled substances and possessing firearms in furtherance of that crime. Under federal guidelines, he will face up to 20 years in prison on the conspiracy charge and a mandatory five-year minimum on the firearms charge. A federal judge will determine the sentence at a later hearing.
The case was investigated in partnership with the U.S. Postal Services’ Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, along with the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the FBI and the Bellevue Police Department.
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