Cryptocurrency Transaction Users on the Dark Web Dealing Drugs Get Sentenced to Prison
Monday 26th August 2019 saw five drug dealers sentenced to prison for their roles in the distribution of hard drugs. The prison sentences which ranged between five and twenty years were in part for the use of cryptocurrencies in the sale of drugs.
Wyatt Pasek who was based in California received a prison sentence of 17 and a half years for selling fake opioid pills. Petty Gomez, Kevin Dean McCoy, Amber Worell, and Silvester Ruelas, all based in Arizona received varying prison terms for selling cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin on marketplaces located on the dark web.
All the drug dealers mentioned above primarily sold drugs using cryptocurrencies according to information obtained from press releases and court filings.
Pasek who went by the names “Yung10x” and “Oxygod” in various internet marketplaces entered a guilty plea in November 2018 for illegal possession of a handgun, money laundering, and the conspiracy to traffic narcotics. This was according to a statement that was sent out by the office of the US Attorney for the Central District of California.
As part of his guilty plea agreement, Pasek is expected to fork out $21,000 in cash, a diamond-studded watch, a gold and diamond bitcoin necklace, thousands of dollars held in crypto form, and two gold bars.
Gomez, McCoy, Worrell, and Ruelas also entered guilty pleas on charges related to money laundering according to a press statement released by the authorities. The Arizona-based dealers used peer-to-peer exchange platforms to deal in cryptocurrencies as part of their drug trafficking efforts.
In their case, the authorities were able to seize an AK-47 rifle, gold, platinum, and silver bars and a Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl ring. Other items seized during their arrest include a .50 caliber sniper rifle, as well as a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun. The Office of the US Attorney for the District of Arizona went on to add that the defendants in this case mainly used platforms such as Dream Market, Hansa, and Alphabay to traffic drugs.
All the platforms mentioned in the case were known to allow the use of cryptocurrencies when transacting. All three were shut down in the past two years for various reasons.