Dark Market Seller Convicted Of Selling Drugs by DoJ, To Forfeit Millions In Ill-Gotten Crypto Profits
California resident Sky Justin Gornik has been convicted of selling drugs for cryptocurrencies in darknet markets.
According to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice, the man aged 39 pleaded guilty to using the Alpha Bay, Trade Route, Abraxas, Evolution, Outlaw Market, and Dream Market trading floors to trade fentanyl, carfentanil, ketamine, oxycodone, amphetamine, and other drugs.
During a raid of Gornik’s house on June 7, 2017, law enforcement officers seized 1.7 grams of carfentanil and sheets of fentanyl gelatin tablets, according to court documents. The amount seized of carfentanil, a potent synthetic opioid, is over 86,000 fatal dosages.
Gornik reportedly bought 600–1,200 fentanyl tablets per week for two years from another Darknet dealer, Steven Wallace George. George was also held accountable by Oklahoma federal authorities for the manufacture of fentanyl tablets.
Gornik agreed to confiscate “millions of dollars” of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Stratis, Ethereum, and Monero received for the drug trade. He kept cryptocurrencies on the accounts of the American exchanges Bittrex and Poloniex. According to the Southern District of California Attorney’s Office:
“Gornik admitted that these digital or crypto currency represented drug trafficking proceeds of the offense and were involved in the offense of money laundering over the Dark Web,”
Gornik was sentenced to 70 months in prison for selling drugs and laundering proceeds using digital currencies.
Special Agent Juan Munoz hailed the sentence handed to Gornik saying that it was a demonstration of the Homeland Security Investigations and our federal partners to bring such criminals to justice. He indicated that HSI will continue to aggressively pursue those that continue to violate the law and jeopardize the safety of the communities by selling deadly opioids and other dangerous drugs using the Dark Web.
The NextWeb reports that cases of drug dealers using cryptocurrencies to launder their illicit money have been on the rise. In July a Silk Road drug dealer was accused of laundering millions of dollars through BTC.
In addition, in April, three darknet drug dealers faced similar allegations. Last year, European police seized €5.7 million worth of cryptocurrency from darknet merchants.