16.1.18 Dark Web and Cybercrime Roundup
Darknet Vendor ‘DutchKings’ Sentenced to Seven Years
Netherlands law enforcement arrested, in November 2016, one drug dealer suspected of running the Agora vendor account “DutchKings.” The police actually arrested two suspects, 24-year-old Brandon M. and 26-year-old Kim van H. However, only Brandon M. had knowingly distributed drugs on the internet, the court ruled. Kim van H., Brandon’s partner, told authorities that she had not concerned herself with Brandon’s actions. “I only occupied myself with my horse,” she told the court. Brandon told authorities that his former partner had, in fact, controlled the entire operation.
When authorities raided the couple’s farm, they found thousands of ecstasy pills, 13 grams of cocaine, and more than one kilogram of marijuana. Netherlands police had initiated the investigation on suspicion that the farm housed a marijuana grow operation. The darknet market distribution discovery came at a later date, likely around the time that they found roughly 600,000 euros in bank accounts under Brandon’s name. Brandon received a prison sentence of seven years for controlling the operation and Kim van H. received 30 months for, at a minimum, knowing what her boyfriend had been doing in his time at home.
Teens Allegedly Bought Thousands of Xanax Pills on the Darknet
A pair of 19-year-old suspected drug dealers ordered a package of 5,000 alprazolam pills from a darknet dealer in Great Britain, authorities said. New York customs officers seized a package in 2017 that a darknet dealer in Great Britain had shipped to the teenagers. New York Customs notified a Wisconsin drug taskforce, sparking a brief investigation into the recipients of the package.
The West Wisconsin Drug Task Force researched the address that belonged to the package recipients. After performing a controlled delivery at the address, investigators found that the mother of one of the 19-year-old suspects lived at the address. The mother told the investigators that her son had recently moved out but continued to ship packages to her address. She presumably had not asked what the packages contained. Officers with the task force then executed a search warrant at the house where Andrew Castro, the primary suspect, lived.
They found Castro and his roommate, along with as many as 6,600 Alprazolam pills. Castro’s roommate told the police that Castro and Castro’s friend, Jacob Brunette, routinely purchased Alprazolam pills on the darknet “with Bitcoin.” Castro kept the roommate quiet with a monthly bribe of $1,000. Police then searched Brunette’s house and also met his mother. She said that her 19-year-old son also received packages at the address and that he addressed the packages to the family’s dog.
Authorities charged the teenagers with possession of alprazolam with intent to distribute, maintaining a drug trafficking residence, possession of illegally obtained prescription drugs, and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
Ecstasy Vendor ‘StoneIsland’ to Spend 16 Years in Prison
The former Agora vendor “StoneIsland” received a sentence of 16 years in prison for his role as a darknet drug dealer. The court accused both Kurt Lailan and his father of operating the StoneIsland account. His father, however, managed to escape the country while out on bail. On May 10, 2016, the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) raided the Lailan’s Portsmouth home. Authorities had previously intercepted a package of 10,000 ecstasy pills that the duo had ordered from a supplier in Holland.
Portsmouth Crown Court heard the details of the so-called “sophisticated operation” Kurt and his father Ralph Lailan managed. In 2013, the father and son started selling ecstasy on the darknet. Although Kurt’s mother told the court that Ralph was responsible for the criminal activity, the court saw evidence that proved the son had played a more important role than that of an accomplice. Footage of the SEROCU raid at the family’s home showed Kurt attempting to eliminate evidence. The prosecution also revealed that Kurt had made significant profits from the business.
While out on bail, Kurt spent large amounts of cash on shoes and hotels. He often left designer clothes and shoes in hotels, according to law enforcement officers who made the most recent arrest. They caught Kurt in an airport after he had purchased a one-way ticket to South Africa.
Darknet Dealers Caught for Shipping 500,000 Pills
Towards the end of 2017, California authorities arrested two men in connection with an intranational drug trafficking operation. So far, officials have not released many details surrounding their arrest. We know that, thanks to an initial hearing in Los Angeles, investigators suspect the men shipped massive quantities of cyclopropyl fentanyl from a warehouse in California to Monmouth County, New Jersey. Investigators even seized packages from that address. One package contained 226,520. Authorities claimed that the men sold the fentanyl analogue to customers on the darknet.
New Jersey police discovered more than 500,000 cyclopropyl fentanyl pills at a house in Monmouth County. According to statements made by the Office of the U.S. Attorney in New Jersey, the pills came from a warehouse owned by the suspects—26-year-old Andrew Tablack and 43-year-old Stephan Durham. Shipping records allegedly indicate that the men had ordered nine pill presses and had them shipped to the warehouse. They pressed fake Oxycodone pills inside the warehouse and then shipped them across the United States to darknet market customers.
Both men appeared in a federal court in Los Angeles on charges of possession at least 400 grams of cyclopropyl fentanyl with intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute cyclopropyl fentanyl.
Elysium Member Admits Guilt in Dresden Court
Days after “Europe’s largest child pornography platform” know as Elysium went dark, the Federal Criminal Police Office arrested a 41-year-old engineer from Dresden named Clemens M. The engineer, one of 14 suspects arrested immediately after the BKA’s Elysium takedown, had uploaded photos and videos to the child abuse forum that depicted the abuse of two young girls. The abuse occured in 2015 and again in 2017. The case was fairly easy to prosecute.
Once authorities had matched information from Clemens’ Elysium account with information connecting to Clemens in real life, they raided his house. Inside, they found more pictures and videos that both identified the victims and matched with the pictures and videos uploaded to the forum. Clemens did not deny any of the charges the prosecutor read in the courtroom.