US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Nab Darknet Fentanyl Dealer Due to Bitcoin Use


  • A 51-year-old drug dealer is believed to have been selling fentanyl — a highly addictive opioid substance — to his clients in return for Bitcoin and other digital assets.
  • As per a statement released by the US I.C.E yesterday, one of the dealers’ clients overdosed on the above-mentioned opioid and subsequently died due to various medical complications.

According to an all-new report released online recently, another drug dealer operating within the dark web has been apprehended by US law enforcement authorities. In regards to the matter, it is being said that the miscreant was making use of BTC to facilitate his drug deals.

However, what is most interesting about this case is that the US Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, Erin Nealy Cox, stated in an interview recently that the dealer was busted by federal agents who continuously kept a close watch on his Bitcoin transaction trail — which clearly allude to the fact that the flagship crypto asset is not as anonymous as previously imagined by many.

A Closer Look at the Matter

When looking at the specifics of the case, we can see that the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently arrested a resident of Dallas — Sean Shaughnessy — on charges that he was dealing fentanyl to people all over the world using a host of dark web marketplaces.

Additionally, it should also be pointed out that the case was handled by ICE investigators along with members of Homeland Security, the IRS, and the US Postal Inspection Service.

From all of the details we have been able to source up until now, Shaughnessy has been charged with the following crimes:

  • Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances
  • Distribution of a controlled substance
  • Distribution of a controlled substance analogue
  • Eight counts of money laundering

If found guilty of any one of the above-mentioned allegations, Sean will have to serve a minimum of up to 20 years in federal prison.

How Was the Drug Dealer Eventually Nabbed?

As per a report released by ICE, federal investigators who posed as clients asked Shaughnessy to sell them fentanyl in exchange for various crypto assets. However, in the midst of all these deals, Sean failed to realize that the BTC wallets he was transacting with (on a regular basis) were all owned and operated by federal agents — who then swiftly proceeded to apprehend him once the money had successfully changed hands.

Giving his personal take on the entire episode, US Attorney Neal Cox was quoted as saying:

“Dark net dealers often believe that by using bitcoin, they can evade authorities. This prosecution proves that’s not the case… We will continue to pursue anyone peddling this deadly drug — on the streets or online.”

Final Take

In closing out this piece, it should be highlighted that a number of people are still under the illusion that Bitcoin is an absolutely anonymous payment avenue that can be used to facilitate illegal deals in a hassle-free manner.

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