2018-07-02

Drugs & the Darknet - US Undercover Operation Targets Darknet Vendors

source: Statista.com
Tuesday, June 26, 2018 Press Release | justice.gov: "First Nationwide Undercover Operation Targeting Darknet Vendors Results in Arrests of More Than 35 Individuals Selling Illicit Goods and the Seizure of Weapons, Drugs and More Than $23.6 Million - Darknet Narcotics Vendors Selling to Thousands of U.S. Residents Charged ... the Department of Justice, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the U.S. Secret Service (USSS), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), announced the results of a year-long, coordinated national operation that used the first nationwide undercover action to target vendors of illicit goods on the Darknet. Special Agents of the HSI New York Field Division, in coordination with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, posed as a money launderer on Darknet market sites, exchanging U.S. currency for virtual currency. Through this operation, HSI New York was able to identify numerous vendors of illicit goods, leading to the opening of more than 90 active cases around the country. The Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS) of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, working with more than 40 U.S. Attorney’s Offices throughout the country, coordinated the nationwide investigation of over 65 targets, that lead to the arrest and impending prosecution of more than 35 Darknet vendors ... “Criminals who think that they are safe on the Darknet are wrong,” said Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein. “We can expose their networks, and we are determined to bring them to justice. Today, we arrested more than 35 alleged Darknet vendors. We seized their weapons, their drugs, and $23.6 million of their ill-gotten gains. This nationwide enforcement effort will reduce the supply of deadly drugs like fentanyl that are killing an unprecedented number of Americans" ... "The Darknet is ever-changing and increasingly more intricate, making locating and targeting those selling illicit items on this platform more complicated. But in this case, HSI special agents were able to walk amongst those in the cyber underworld to find those vendors who sell highly addictive drugs for a profit," said HSI Acting Executive Associate Director Benner. “The veil has been lifted. HSI has infiltrated the Darknet, and together with its law enforcement partners nationwide, it has proven, once again, that every criminal is within arm’s reach of the law.” ... “At this crucial time of unprecedented drug related deaths, one of the greatest threats we face is cyber drug trafficking,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Hunt. “Because the Darknet invites criminals into our homes, and provides unlimited access to illegal commerce, law enforcement is taking steps to identify and arrest those involved. I applaud all the agencies who participated in this groundbreaking investigation.” (emphasis added)
More on the Darknet here.

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