Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

San Diego: The suburban fentanyl trafficker

The suburban Fentanyl trafficker

Sky Justin Gornick, in Tijuana, 2014
Often in the coverage of the heroin and opioid crisis that has infected communities across the country, and the media that covers them, the narrative is the flow of fentanyl from Mexico.  And, this is accurate, almost all the fentanyl and it's variations, are trafficked through Tijuana, and across the country.  

What is covered less, is some of the individuals who aren't part of the network of Mexico based drug trafficking organizations, who distribute fentanyl and carfentanil. Sky Justin Gornik was arrested by federal agents last year at his home in Clairemont, a drab suburb north of central San Diego.  They aren't all in Xalisco, or Tijuana, but across the street, in the post office, at the local Whole Foods.

Clairemont, across from the 5 freeway is not known as a drug trafficking hub.  The area is far removed from the southern neighborhoods of Eastlake and Bonita, which routinely are the center of federal raids, and drug trafficking seizures.

The home was nondescript, two stories, and Gornick was taken into custody outside of it, as agents served a search warrant last summer.  The investigation started years before, at a series of addresses, across the country, and internationally, as agents from the United States Postal Service on a task force pursued Gornick and his associates, based in Oklahoma.

In 2015 agents seized slightly over an ounce of Ecstasy, sent from the Netherlands, addressed to Gornick, in his name, and an address investigators knew he resided at, during 2015 and 2016.  A few months later, in 2016, agents seized another, containing less than a half ounce of Ecstasy.

In Oklahoma,  in April of 2017, federal authorities identified and arrested a source of Gornick's, Steve Wallace George, who at times mailed fentanyl to both addresses associated with Gornick.  The fentanyl was packaged as tablets and sheets, one weighing 95 grams, in a gel tablet.  George has plead guilty in federal court, and is awaiting sentencing in a separate case.  Gornick purchased 600 to 1200 tabs each week from George, who imported the materials, and manufactured them himself. 

Gornick would sell fentanyl on the Dark Web, on various sites left in the wake of the seizure of Silk Road, the first "Dark Net" site, and the arrest and conviction of Ross Ulbricht, who is serving a life sentence.  Ulbricht,  founded and ran the site, until his arrest at a San Francisco library in 2013.  He recently lost an appeal to overturn his conviction and life sentence.  

Gornick used Alpha Bay, whose founder was arrested on request of US federal authorities by police in Thailand, where he ran his operations from.  Alexander Cazes, 25, a Canadian citizen, who purchased homes and luxury vehicles, documented on social media, hanged himself in his cell, as the Department of Justice coordinated his extradition.  

In addition to fentanyl, authorities also seized 1.7 grams of Carfentanil, which is more powerful than fentanyl. Prosecutors have stated that the amount in 1.7 grams is equivalent to 86,000 potentially fatal doses on the street.   At the residence, mushrooms, pills, and 300 vials of ketamine were found, as well as drug ledgers, packing and shipping materials, USPS tracking labels and receipts. 

He was arrested by the Tijuana municipal police in July 2014, purchasing 384 doses of methamphetamine, which they planned to cross into San Diego,  and likely sell through his "dark web" outlets. They were evidently released at some point in 2014, as Gornick was under federal investigation by 2015.

In his picture, dressed in a simple t short and cargo shorts, Gornick appears nondescript, someone who wouldn't stand out in a coffee shop, or areas in San Diego in which he lived.  He pleaded guilty in federal court today, marking the first conviction known, of it's kind in San Diego, as fentanyl and heroin cases become increasingly high profile, and priority.

He admitted trafficking fentanyl, carfentanil, oxycodone, ketamine, dimethyltrypamine, psilocybin, psilocybin, amphetamine, buprenorphine, methamphetamine, and nalxone.

His plea agreement called for a minimum of a 10 year sentence, and the forfeiture of the apparent small fortune he had acquired through his business, which he admitted running from 2014-2017. 

The Department of Justice seized over a million in bitcoin, and other crypto currencies:

1. 68 Bitcoins= $9,002/per
2. 100,046 Stratis= $7.33/per
3. 624 ethereum = $690/per
4. 2350 Monero = $242.94/per
5. .9968 Bitcoin
6. 05387 Bitcoin
7. 3,305 in cash

US Attorney Adam Braverman is quoted as saying "Dark web vendors beware, your currency is not safe from seizure"

Gornick, 39, will be sentenced in July 2018.  How many more Gornick's are out there, behind the doors of a suburban home, computer screens gleaming in the dark, as crypto wallets grow, eagerly watching the bull market, and the steady stream of orders for fentaynl come in, packaging material and tape residue, weekly trips to the post office, drugs landing all across the world, unwrapped quickly and injected, swallowed, snorted, smoked.....a trail of bodies across the world, across the country, across a city, gone cold to the touch, on the metal table at the coroners office, another overdose, another death.  

Sources: US Attorneys Office, Frontera, and NBC7San Diego


  1. "He admitted trafficking fentanyl, carfentanil, oxycodone, ketamine, dimethyltrypamine, psilocybin, psilocybin, amphetamine, buprenorphine, methamphetamine, and nalxone."

    Dude was some kinda Walgreen's LOL

    1. He preferred the CVS moniker, Citywide Virtual Slanger

  2. well the dumbass in Thailand will be shot by firing squad as the penalty for drugs is the desth penalty. the question here is ‘was it worth it?’ NO

    1. It clearly says he hanged himself, buddy.

  3. They were headed to become rich, but greed got in the way.

    1. Siempre se los chingan
      Por andar ahi de calientes
      I have to confess my addiction to Chiva,
      and BB is my supplier, get ready to be raided.

  4. Se va hacer o no se va hacer la carnita asada? Pos a wiwis. Allá en la federal donde dicen que el mentado pruno juice esta de poca madre. Y las largas conversaciones nunca paran. - Sol Prendido

  5. Yeah, have to admit. Clairemont in general, is a dump. A good place for a narco to be non-descript.

  6. Claremont is still pretty cheap to rent. I pay 1800 a month and it aint half bad

  7. 6:46 1800 rent every month?
    Shit, i'd rather steal a store grocery cart, to live out from.
    that a lot of customers for a two dollar crack ho.

  8. 6:46,

    1800 a month isn't cheap, lol. You're getting ripped off


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