Ever since Silk Road got shut down, the dark web has been in the spotlight, but that hasn’t seemed to deter those looking to run afoul of the law online. In the latest case of drug peddling on the dark web, federal prosecutors in California are accusing two men from Brooklyn of selling drugs on dark web marketplace AlphaBay.
According to a report, the two men — Abudullah Almashwali and Chaudhry Ahmad Farooq — sold heroin and cocaine on the AlphaBay marketplace, using the aliases Area51 and DarkApollo. Almashwali, 31, a Yemeni national, and Farooq, 24, a Pakistani national, were charged last week with conspiracy and distributing heroin and cocaine.
Courthouse News Service, which cited the affidavit, reported DarkApollo made $139,000 selling about 610 grams of heroin and 25 grams of cocaine. Area51 sold 810 grams of heroin and 47 grams of cocaine.
The payments were received via bitcoin, and the drugs were mailed to customers using post offices in New York. The customers were located around the U.S.
Law enforcement officials were able to bust the pair by purchasing drugs twice on AlphaBay and tracing the postal records. The officers said the encrypted email address was associated with a Twitter, Instagram and Facebook account used by Farooq. The two face 20 years in jail and a $1 million fine if they are convicted.
This isn’t the first time law enforcement has tracked down alleged criminals who were hiding behind the dark web. Last February, Ross Ulbricht, who law enforcement said operated Silk Road, was convicted of seven federal charges related to Silk Road, including drug trafficking and criminal conspiracy charges. The federal government contends he ran a huge online illegal drug trade that raked in billions of dollars selling illegal drugs, including heroin, cocaine and crystal meth. Ulbricht faces life in prison as a result of the underground website.