TL;DR: The War on Drugs continues to intersect with cryptocurrency, as law enforcement in New Jersey uncovered a complex ring of knock-off Xanax pills, along with other drugs. Millions in crypto was laundered by a dark web ring, according to authorities, through debit cards and cash withdrawals at ATMs. And officials came upon it all by complete chance.
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$2.3 Million Cryptocurrency Laundered in Historic Xanax, Pills Dark Web Drug Bust
The numbers are dizzying, according to The New York Post. $2.3 million in cryptocurrency. $1 million in cash. Half a million fake Xanax pills. Street value of $3 million. 500 glassines of heroin laced with fentanyl. They’re even characterizing the bust as the “biggest dark web drug ring ever.”
Craig McCarthy, Rebecca Rosenberg, Natalie Musumeci report three men from New Jersey operated dark web stores selling counterfeit pills in nearly every part of the United States, and sold them for bitcoin. The crypto was then laundered through more traditional financial institutions. What’s more, all of it would have very probably continued without notice … until something strange happened.
“According to a law enforcement source,” the Post explained, “an eagle-eyed low-level staffer in the Manhattan DA’s office spotted suspicious large ATM withdrawals in 2017 and began investigating, sparking what eventually turned into a massive probe.” The result is “the first time a New York state prosecutor took down a dark web storefront.”
The operation began about three years ago, and was distributed through Dream Market — a kind of Amazon dark web platform. The men manufactured pills themselves. They were charged with conspiracy, money laundering, and two were charged with sale of a controlled substance and identity theft.
DISCLOSURE: The author holds cryptocurrency as part of his financial portfolio, including BCH.
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