Market moderator of the now-defunct AlphaBay darknet will be in jail until 2031
AlphaBay darknet platform moderator sentenced to 11 years in prison
Darknet site moderator sentenced to 11 years in prison
US intelligence services will continue to fight the darknet
Bitcoin, Monero and ETH remain the main payment instruments in the darknet market
One of the moderators of the AlphaBay platform, Brian Connor from Colorado, admitted his guilt in organizing the work of the resource. Connor will spend the next 11 years in prison for his illegal activities..
Helped sell drugs, weapons and bank card details
Nine months after pleading guilty, AlphaBay platform moderator Brian Connor received 11 years in prison. This is stated in the official statement of the US Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of California.
According to court documents, Herrell was the moderator of the AlphaBay marketplace, an illegal website running on the so-called darknet. On AlphaBay, sellers and buyers have been involved in hundreds of thousands of illegal transactions involving weapons, drugs, stolen identities, credit card numbers and other illegal items. At the time, AlphaBay was the world’s largest online drug marketplace..
As AlphaBay’s moderator, Herrell, nicknamed “Penissmith” and “Botah,” settled disputes between sellers and buyers on the site, the Justice Department said. He also acted as a “fraud watchdog”, monitoring any attempts to defraud AlphaBay users. Prohibited goods were paid for with Bitcoin, Monero and ETH.
“This verdict serves as further proof that criminals cannot hide behind technology to break the law. Working behind the curtain of the darknet may seem like a haven from criminal investigations, but people should think twice before ordering or selling drugs online – you will be caught. This office will continue to use all available means to prosecute darknet crimes, especially those involving fentanyl, opioids and other dangerous drugs, ”said US Attorney Scott.
The AlphaBay platform became a later version of the criminal Silk Road site. In 2017, US law enforcement officers detained the organizers, and the resource itself was liquidated. One of Silk Road’s top administrators, Alexander Kazes, was found hanging from a towel in a prison cell.
Bitcoin is still popular on the Darknet
Despite the fact that today the governments of the countries are making efforts to combat the darknet and trying to minimize the use of cryptocurrencies in this sector, bitcoin remains in high demand in the underground market..
According to the resource Chainalysis, more than half a million bitcoins circulate in the darknet space. Most often, cryptocurrencies are used for payments for prohibited goods, including pirated programs and computer viruses. Roughly 300,000 bitcoins are being held by scammers and cybercriminals. In recent years, crypto exchanges have become more serious about KYC procedures and FATF guidelines. As a result of this policy, it becomes more difficult for criminals to sell illegally obtained cryptocurrencies, which also promises the market to rise and develop..
The US Department of Homeland Security created two units at once to combat the darknet, since this sector poses a real threat to the country’s economy.
The report, presented on the agency’s website, says that most often buyers used cryptocurrencies to buy jewelry, drugs, chemicals like Viagra, insulin, anti-cancer drugs that have not been properly licensed in America and cannot be considered safe. At the same time, 97% of counterfeit goods are supplied to American markets from China, Hong Kong, Singapore and India..
To minimize the negative impact of shadow trade, US intelligence agencies and a number of other financial departments intend to implement a “cryptocurrency intelligence” program to stop the illegal flow of goods from abroad to the country.
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