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4 Las Vegas men accused of distributing cocaine through the mail

Four Las Vegas men are charged with selling millions of dollars worth of cocaine through the mail, federal court records show.

Paul Engstrom, Vincent Cuomo, Abraham Elliot and Joseph Krieger are accused of using the dark web to run their drug business and using cryptocurrency to conceal the proceeds.

The equivalent of at least $3 million passed through Engstrom’s account from August to April, the Drug Enforcement Administration said.

Agents surveilled the men as they used a stash house on Silverado Ranch Boulevard and a storage facility near the airport to package thousands of orders, according to a criminal complaint.

The men then deposited U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail envelopes in drop boxes throughout the valley, according to the complaint.

Authorities observed Engstrom on Oct. 16 carrying a plastic tote that postal workers typically carry. It read “not for private use,” the complaint states.

On another occasion, according to the complaint, agents followed Krieger to the post office on Martin Luther King Boulevard, where he deposited several envelopes into the drop box out front.

The group filled nearly 3,300 orders online using the moniker “Insta” between Feb. 1, 2020, and May 23 — a total of more than 44 pounds of cocaine, the DEA said.

On June 21, authorities raided the stash house near the airport, where Cuomo, Elliott and Engstrom were packaging cocaine, according to the complaint.

Engstrom ran into a back office and locked the door, while Cuomo and Elliott hid under trucks in a garage. Someone tried to flush an unknown amount of cocaine down the toilet, according to court records.

Agents said they found blocks of cocaine and two large filing cabinets with about 100 Priority Mail envelopes, packaged and sealed.

The group faces federal charges of cocaine distribution. Engstrom, who was convicted in 2017 of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, faces one count of money laundering.

All four men pleaded not guilty last week, and a jury trial is scheduled for Sept. 13.

Contact Briana Erickson at berickson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5244. Follow @ByBrianaE on Twitter.

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