Manhattan prosecutors are overjoyed to announce that they believe they’ve uncovered and stopped one of the largest-ever dark web drug operations. So far, five individuals have been charged. Prosecutors believe the team was able to obtain over $7.2 million in illegal funds by using multiple cryptocurrency exchanges.
Authorities say that the ringleader, Nan Wu, created an online dark web marketplace called FireBunnyUSA. Then, Wu and his accomplices used that marketplace to sell drugs like ketamine, cocaine, and MDMA throughout the country. Between January of 2019 and August of 2022, the marketplace facilitated over $7.2 million in transactions, including proceeds of at least $3.1 million.
Among the individuals arrested were Nan Wu, Peng Peng Tang, Zixiang Lim, Bowen Chen, and Katie Montgomery. Katie was working as a USPS employee during the conspiracy. It’s reported that the dark web marketplace facilitated over 10,000 shipments.
When authorities found out about the scheme, they made 11 purchases from FireBunny. They bought MDMA, ketamine, and cocaine, all of which were shipped to Manhattan. Eventually, the undercover team tracked down the operations to Wu’s apartment in Flushing. They issued a search warrant on the apartment, and Wu was arrested. Authorities believe the group was using Monero to launder and convert their illegal earnings.
Internet Crimes in New York
Internet crimes, like using cryptocurrency to launder money and facilitate drug trafficking, are taken very seriously under federal law. While the internet and deep dark web are still relatively new to the Justice system, there are many prior court cases and legal precedents that dictate very harsh penalties for those who commit these types of crimes.
For instance, a dark web administrator who was charged with money laundering and drug trafficking was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2018.
One year later, the US Justice Department also sought out charges against three German national citizens who allegedly used a dark web marketplace to launder money and traffic narcotics in the U.S. With that in mind, the US law has global reach when it comes to these types of internet crimes.
If you or someone you know is facing such serious allegations, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with a lawyer who can help. Here at Bukh Law Firm, we can help you navigate your challenging charges. Leave your contact information on our online form to discuss your charges in more detail with one of our best lawyers.