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Mobile Messenger Co-Founder Arrested For Drug Dealing

The self-described “serial entrepreneur” Shaun Collopy and his partner in crime Gary Cooley are awaiting to be sentenced in June by the District Court of Australia on drug-trafficking charges.

Collopy was a computer science student in the 2000s when he ran into success with a series of start-up companies that handle SMS services. One would say that his successfulness peaked in 2007 when he sold his piece of Mobile Messenger for more than $200 million.

Sometime around 2009, he began delving into the world of drugs using his new-found fortune. He developed a love for cocaine and opiate painkillers. At one point, he overdosed on cocaine which lead him to being in rehab for nine months.

In 2010, Collopy hoped to get a fresh start and used some of fortune to start MGM Wireless. It didn’t take long for his love of drugs to overcome him once again. He got in touch with his friend Cooley and enjoyed each other’s company under the influence of “ice” – which was purchased off of the Silk Road.

Collopy operated under the name “The Big Wolf” inspired by his admiration for Jordan Belfort.

His wife left him in 2012 which only caused him to remain addicted to ice and pushed him deeper into the world of drugs. Come 2013, Collopy would be buying $6000 worth of drugs every week for his and Cooley’s personal use. Sometimes he shared with his other friends.

It’s estimated that between April 2013 and October 2013, he spent nearly $57,000 on drugs.

Collopy setup his own drug website, “AUVIP”, for himself and Cooley a few weeks after he overdosed severely in September 2013 which apparently didn’t phase him one bit. The pair communicated with each other using Facebook under fake names and eagerly told each other about how well their operations were doing. They obtained product from The Netherlands, India, and Belgium. At one point, they mentioned over Facebook about a $108,000 transaction.

Their entire operation came crashing down when a sniffer dog picked up on a package that soon after was linked to Cooley. This led to raid being conducted on his home during a children’s birthday party. So far, Collopy was fine until Cooley’s wife mentioned that Collopy was probably involved in this.

After four long months, Collopy’s password for his encrypted computers was cracked by a forensics expert, which gave law enforcement the truth about what was really going on.

The prosecutor, Peter Longson, urged Chief Judge Muecke to sentence Collopy and Cooley to a lengthy prison term to in hopes that it will keep others from using the darknet for criminal gain.

Longson said, “This is, in many respects, new-age drug-dealing … these two men are at the top of this tree, this is not the normal drug-dealing where you have got people standing on the street corner or you have got people meeting in car washes. This is sophisticated because of its undetectability, by being transacted on the darknet and transacted in bitcoins.”

On the other hand, Lindy Powell, Collopy’s lawyer, asks the Judge for mercy saying, “These are crimes which Your Honour [can be treated] as fuelled not by greed, but were fuelled by addiction, He’s lost his career, he’s lost his family, he’s lost his pride, he’s lost his money and he’s lost the respect of his loved ones and of course, most of all, he’s lost his freedom.”

12 comments

  1. “After four long months, Collopy’s password for his encrypted computers was cracked by a forensics expert, which gave law enforcement the truth about what was really going on.”

    If your passphrase isn’t at least 25 characters (with some Upper, lower, and some numbers, plus a punctuation character or two and at least one “special” character), then, you’re screwed.

    • passwordpreacher

      yea,yea,yea, blah, blah, blah. Just use diceware and / or an entropy calculator to determine exactly how strong your PW is. Once the Gov has functional quantum computers then you will need a much stronger PW.

      Why would someone that made 200 million dollars be dumb enough to go into drug dealing, DW or RL ? Good way to lose a fortune that you could very easily maintain the rest of your life legitimately.

      OD on cocaine ? That is a heart attack and very, very rare for someone that doesn’t have a heart condition.

      • It sounds like drug addiction was the root of his crimes. Drugs are very, very dangerous. The deep web and it’s information resources makes us fearless when it comes to drugs, but we can never forget that narcotics are truly deadly.

    • Anonymouse

      Use multiple layers of encryption, also! Have full system encryption, but within that, have another layer, say, a TrueCrypt container which has all of your “badass stuff”. Imagine a forensics examiner who took four mouths to get through the first layer of system encryption only to find another layer?! Imagine the initial outburst of joy on that person’s face only to be followed by a look of angry frustration?!!! Especially after telling their boss, “I did it!!…..oh wait, there’s more….”

  2. Is this place a LE front? Why does it seem like a poster board in a police station? All anybody talks about or posts as headline are sucess stories for the feds, not to mention who the web host is. Im just saying its peculiar at the least.

    • IDIOT

      Would you rather DDW post success stories for criminals? Because they do. And posting these kinds of news informs us on what the fuck is happening and how to learn from it. We learned today that you need to use strong passwords because law enforcement was able to crack Shaun’s password in 4 months. I actually want DDW to keep doing this so I can learn from everyone’s mistakes. DeepDotWeb is hidden behind Cloudflare so they don’t get DDOSed into oblivion and they obviously care about your anonymity so they have a tor hidden service and they allow tor traffic through Cloudflare. They fucking made a post about this not too long ago.

      Your paranoia that everything is run by law enforcement pisses me off. Staying informed on what your enemy is doing is important. We obviously all hate law enforcement. GTFO

  3. @IDIOT,
    If your dumbass didnt know you need a strong pass word you need a new hobby, and if you believe that passwords, kaboosing Cloudflare or anyone else is enough to stop a determined, superfunded global advisary, then your naive as-well. Maybe this sight is legit maybe its not, the point is its VERY well built, and very attractive, kinda like honey for bears, ya! All im saying is being sceptical and using fucking common sense has kept my skin protected, it covers the body eh.

    • ANON

      No government is going to spend a million bucks to catch a low-time drug dealer. Terrorist, yes; drug dealer, no. Ditto for a CP pervert. Maybe 50K at most for your typical felony criminal. Tor is safe, IF used correctly, which means using military grade encryption, such as VeraCrypt.

    • Brrrrrrrp

      This place isn’t a ” honeypot “. It’s something some guy put together and decided to make a little money off of.

      That doesn’t mean you don’t need to be careful. Obviously LE monitor sites like this. On occasion they probably take a stab at knabbing somebody. If you see a post inquiring about how to buy a 1/2 kilo of kocaina then it’s probably a good idea not to exchange info with him.

      For the most part they aren’t interested in busting small fry but it does happen. It’s called politics. You don’t know if they just want to make an example of someone for PR BS. Every should exercise caution.

  4. Remember, TLAs/LE posts here, also, and so, if someone seems “off”, they are probably a federal turd.

    In the end, use your own judgment, which means using sound judgment, which means using Tails with full encryption.

  5. He never made 200 millions, that’s bullshit. He made a few millions through his tech companies, but gave much of it to his family and friends, and his greedy gold digger of a wife took him to the cleaners. He had become addicted to painkillers because of her, but he never trafficked in narcotics. He would never had needed to sell drugs, since he was quite well off already, and the alledged income was ridiculous anyway.
    His buddy Gary Cooley, whom he was letting stay in a room at his house during the time Cooley was homeless, was the one who used their “AUVIP” account on Silk Road to sell pills. Since the crime happened under Collopy’s roof (even though Shaun himself was not aware of Gary’s sale activity), and since Shaun was a wealthy guy, AU police decided to make an example of him by charging him with drug trafficking crimes he was never guilty of.
    By the way, the “forensics expert” who alledgely cracked Shaun Collopy’s passwords merely took advantage of the fact that Shaun Collopy had written a password script, plainly accessible in his user account on his mac, and had given directions to use it to the police, which he was trusting they would not be unfair with him at the time. There was no genius on behalf of that “expert”.
    They arranged with him to plead guilty during the trial, under the pretense that he would get a light sentence, but since it had been arranged behind his back to crucify him in order to scare people out of using bitcoin etc, he ended up getting 17 years, without actually being guilty of the charges.

    • Anonymous

      This is of course – by far – the most interesting reply in this thread, as it tells you what’s really going on.

      Reminds me of how CP busts are often touted as “saving” children from “horrible” crimes – when all the cops have really done is arrest some poor random men who sat at home and masturbated to images they found floating around on the web.

      An important lesson to take away from this seems to be: Do NOT cooperate with the police in your own case. They will NOT be nice to you if you give them the passwords or confessions they crave. The people who work in LEA are for the most part horrible people, who think every foul, deceitful, life ruining move is ok when THEY do it, because in their own heads THEY are always “the good guys” with the “noble cause”, while YOU are “the bad guy” with “evil intentions”. It’s also fun and games for them to try to hurt people as much as possible, because they see it as a competition between “cops and crooks”, where they stand no real risk of harm.

      If they are asking for your passwords, it’s not because they want to find out if you’re a good guy that they should be lenient towards. It’s because they need the passwords to hurt you more. They don’t care about being fair. They care about getting you as many years of sentence as possible, so they can brag about how serious the crime they stopped was. They will pretend to care, but always remember: In the mind of cops, being evil is a good cause when they do it.

      It’s also typical how this defence lawyer doesn’t dare to say this is bullshit, and instead asks for mercy, because judges by and large are judgemental types who will just get angry if their prejudices are challenged. Right now “dark web” and “bitcoin” sounds very new and scary to these judges, so they don’t want to hear anything about it not being bad. They want the impression they got from media scares to be reinforced, and they want to help the cops. The legal system is completely broken.

      This is a really tragic case, and I understand very well why some people hope there is a hell: It’s the only place where these cops are likely to get what they deserve.

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