After an undercover investigation, Cyprus R. Vance, the district attorney of Manhattan, has indicted money launderers and dark web drug dealers who reportedly sold and shipped drugs to 43 states in the U.S. and laundered $2.3 million using bitcoins.
Chester Anderton, Jarrette Codd and Roland MacCarty were indicted for dealing in Xanax tablets and other controlled substances like fentanyl-laced heroin, methamphetamine, ketamine, alprazolam, steroids, and pill presses on the dark web. They reportedly sold these drugs to 43 states. Apart from that, they also laundered $2.3 million using bitcoins.
The seizure of approximately 420,000 to 620,000 alprazolam tablets, 500 glassines of fenanyl-laced heroin, and other quantities of metamphetamine, ketamine, gamma hydroxybutyric acid, and other substances also marks the biggest seizure of pills in the history of New Jersey. The district attorney stated:
Not only is this the first time state prosecutors in New York have taken down a dark web storefront, this take down represents the largest pill seizure in New Jersey’s history.
The DA also added the details of the take down:
When our office received reports of suspicious activity at ATMs in New York and New Jersey, our talented investigators followed the money, using our state-of-the-art Cyber Lab to uncover a dark web counterfeit pill seller whose $2.3 million operation spanned the U.S.
According to the report, Anderson ran two dark web storefronts to sell these drugs, using the name “sinmed”. Codd and MacCarty were his accomplices and assisted with manufacturing and equipment procurement.
These defendants are charged with conspiracy of 4th and 5th degrees and money laundering of the first degree. Anderson, however, is charged additionally with multiple counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the 4th and 5th degrees, and identity theft in the first degree, which makes a lot of time for them behind bars.
Such illicit activities that involve money laundering and anonymous dealings of arms, terrorist funding, and ICO scams have grounded the reputation of cryptos over the years. But with the operations like the one performed by DA Vance, the situation seems to be getting under control.
As for other problems like ICO scams, they are also being monitored and caught. For example, the founders of OneCoin were recently caught for their fraud project, which operated through a multi-marketing strategy where an individual was rewarded if he brought another person to invest in the currency. But, the project turned out to be a scam and the currency wasn’t backed by a proper public blockchain. Moreover, the prices weren’t controlled by supply and demand but the owners themselves.
For an individual, being cautious is more important than waiting for the scams to end. The Section Chief of the FBI’s Financial Crimes Section within the Criminal Investigative Division, Steven M. D’Antuono, advised investors to be cautious before investing in a new project. He stated in an interview:
“While the FBI and other law enforcement and regulatory agencies are actively trying to eliminate the scams and bring the scammers to justice, there seems to be a lucrative market for the scammers, meaning they continue to appear. Perhaps our best tool in mitigating fraudulent offerings is getting information out to the public that they need to be careful prior to investing in these projects.”