The operation which was spearheaded by the Department of Justice had Special Agents of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) pose as money launderers on Darknet market sites where they were able to identify vendors of illicit products while exchanging U.S dollars for virtual currency.
The agents were able to seize cryptocurrency mining devices, weapons, narcotics, $3.6 million in U.S currency and gold bars, nearly 2,000 Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies worth over $20 million, , the DOJ said in an announcement
Speaking on the success of the bust, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein said illicit vendors should not feel too comfortable in the Darknet. “Criminals who think that they are safe on the Darknet are wrong,” he said. “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.”
Rosenstein went further to explain what the next steps were for the agency. He said there will be a nationwide effort to cut off the supply of drugs like the deadly “fentanyl that are killing an unprecedented number of Americans.” According to doctors, an amount of fentanyl as “small as a grain of sand can kill an adult.”
In his remarks, the Executive Associate Director Derek Benner of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) said the Darknet is constantly changing which makes it difficult to track illicit vendors on the platform.
“The Darknet is ever-changing and increasingly more intricate, making locating and targeting those selling illicit items on this platform more complicated,” he remarked…