OUT OF THE SHADOWS

DOJ: 35 Suspects Arrested in ‘Darknet’ Drug Sting

The Justice Department has arrested 35 suspects selling “illicit goods” in the nation’s “first nationwide undercover operation targeting darknet vendors,” according to a news release. The operation last a year and included agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Secret Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the U.S. Postal Service. Officials posed as money launderers on “darknet market sites” and were able to infiltrate the criminal enterprises, resulting in the seizure of “massive amounts” of narcotics, $20 million in cryptocurrencies, and $3.6 million in bills and gold bars, prosecutors said. The 35 individuals arrested are awaiting prosecution. “[S]pecial agents were able to walk amongst those in the cyber underworld to find those vendors who sell highly addictive drugs for a profit,” ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations Executive Associate Director Derek Benner said. “The veil has been lifted.”