The term dark web seems to come up fairly often these days, and in most cases, there is a link to Bitcoin being used as one of the supported payment methods. A recent arrest in Fresno, CA is related both Bitcoin and the dark web, as one person was identified as selling drugs on an underground marketplace in exchange for digital currency payments. All of these packages were distributed to buyers all over the United States by using post offices in and around San Francisco.
Dark Web Drug Dealer Arrested
Although some people might argue there are plenty of legitimate reasons to browse the dark web, systems like those will be abused sooner or later. Depending on how many media headlines one can bear to read, the dark web is nothing more than a collection of underground marketplaces for drugs, stolen financial information, and who knows what else. Bitcoin plays an integral part in this machine as well, as it remains to – alleged – preferred method of payment for internet criminals.
The Department of Justice, together with Homeland Security, USPS, and the IRS have been able to arrest one man selling drugs via the dark web. Accessing these underground marketplaces requires special software – called Tor – which lets users access the part of the Internet that is not indexed by search engines.
Keeping in mind how this person has been able to sell drugs on the dark web for several years, it has taken authorities a lot of time to build up a case against this man. During this period, Burchard was able to mail packages filled with drugs to customers across thirteen different states, and he – allegedly – frequented post offices in Clovis and Merced. This type of routine behavior could have been his downfall, though.
Conducting business on the dark web is completely anonymous, and by accepting Bitcoin payments, it become increasingly difficult to put a name and address on this infamous online narcotics dealer. So far, the investigators think Burchard conducted over 1,000 transactions on the dark web, dating back all the way to Silk Road before that platform was shut down. All of these operations add up to roughly US$1.4m, and nearly all of these payments have been received in Bitcoin.
During this arrest, law enforcement agents have confiscated several computers, cars, shipping boxes, and a trash bag filled with marijuana. However, the Department of Justice fully realizes they only won a small battle, as the war against online drug trafficking is far from over. The dark web is a place where setting up illegal marketplaces for the sale and purchase of illicit goods is rather easy, and it is a thorn in the eye of law enforcement agencies.
Source: Your Central Valley