Two men have been charged for money laundering and illegal sales of narcotics like opioids in the United States. The defendant allegedly sold tons of Opioid Pills on several darknet marketplaces. They also engaged in drug trafficking with cryptocurrency like Bitcoin to conceal their illegal business, which sees transactions in millions of dollars.
Illegal sale of Opioids
The defendants are David Brian Pate (44), an American darknet vendor, and Jose Luis Fung Hou (38), a Costa Rican pharmacist. According to the report from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), they were charged with counts of conspiring to launder money, distribution of controlled substances, laundering of monetary instruments, and so on.
In addition to selling opioids illegally in the United States, the indictment further reads that the defendant, Pate, would also buy other narcotics from his pharmacist co-conspirator. Those drugs are sold on multiple darknet markets like AlphaBay, and Silk Road through the use of Bitcoin, in order to conceal the transactions.
Drug trafficking with cryptocurrency exposed
In the indictment, the DOJ further explained that Pate often smuggled narcotics in maracas from Costa Rica to other people in the U.S., who would reship the drugs. Funds will be released to Pate in Bitcoin once customers confirm they have received their package. From drug trafficking with cryptocurrency, Pate has reportedly garnered more than 23,903 bitcoin from darknet markets.
Michael Sherwin, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, commented:
These charges are a warning to drug traffickers worldwide that neither the shroud of the darknet or of virtual currency can hide their illegal activities from the vigilance of U.S. law enforcement. We are firmly committed to combating the problem of opioid abuse and breaking through sophisticated cyber-enabled barriers employed by criminals to hide their activities.
Recently, a teenager was sentenced to community detention for smuggling drugs with Bitcoin.