2.8.18 Darknet and Cybercrime Roundup
Bitcoin Trader ‘Bitcoin Maven” Sentenced to Federal Prison
A bitcoin trader known on LocalBitcoins.com (LBC) as “Bitcoin Maven” or “bitcoin.maven” was sentenced to one year and one day prison for illegally exchanging and laundering Bitcoin. United States District Judge Manuel L. Real, a California judge, issued the sentence in late July in a California court.
Bitcoin Maven aka Theresa Lynn Tetley, 50, traded bitcoin for cash on the popular Bitcoin exchange platform “LocalBitcoins.” She had traded more than six million dollars worth of bitcoin, the court heard. But according to the prosecutor, Tetley knowingly transacted money belonging to a drug dealer. The actual drug dealer was not a drug dealer; he was an undercover federal agent that let Tetley know he needed his drug money laundered. Tetley, after learning the undercover agent was laundering drug proceeds, still exchanged his money.
Dealer Allegedly Pressed Xanax in Rented Beach Homes
A South Carolina oxycodone and alprazolam darknet vendor allegedly used rented beach homes to press “Xanax” pills and counterfeit oxycodone pills, U.S. Magistrate Judge Paige Gossett heard at a pre-trial bond hearing. Eric Hughes, 36, and two accomplices currently sit in a South Carolina jail on drug possession, importation, and distribution charges. Even though the bond hearing resulted in bond denials for all three conspirators, some good cancer from the hearing: information hidden in sealed documents reached the public.
According to Richland County Sheriff’s deputy William Cobia, Hughes and two of his alleged accomplices rented beach homes up and down the East Coast of the United States for the purpose of producing counterfeit narcotics. The trio allegedly carried pill presses, alprazolam and oxycodone powder, pill binders, and mailing material with them to the rented beach houses. They often received bulk packages of powder from China while at the houses as well.
Police in Georgia caught Hughes after he had an accident on a Georgia road that resulted in a road filled with counterfeit Xanax pills.
Swedish Drug Dealer Loses Appeal for a Lighter Sentence
In the minds of many, receiving a one year prison sentence for five counts of drug trafficking would be unrealistically good. But a 27-year-old from Högsby, Sweden, who is currently serving that sentence disagrees; after a judge sentenced him to prison for his role in a drug trafficking operation, he immediately began the appeal process to fight for a sentence he thought better reflected his crimes.
The man had ordered several so-called “huge” packages of drugs intended for resale, prosecutors told the court at the sentencing hearing. Customs had intercepted several similar packages headed for the man’s address. Inside the house, police discovered materials usually found in the homes of drug dealers such as scales and bags. But the 27-year-old convicted drug dealer argued that his packages of drugs were intended not for resale but instead for personal use. He was stocking up for future use, he said. The court disagreed and upheld the one year prison sentence.
Trial Date Set for Alleged Elysium Admin
The German Federal Criminal Police Office ended the darknet child abuse forum “Elysium” more than a year ago but the alleged admin and three staff members have only recently received trial appearance dates. According to German officials have called the case one of the biggest child abuse cases in Germany and expect a lengthy and complicated trial. The first part of the trial, officials announced, will take place over the course of 12 days in early August.
German police have identified the man who had allegedly been running the site before the BKA raided the man’s home and seized the server found in his garage. The District Court of Limburg will also host the trial of the man who allegedly helped create the forum with the former forum administrator. Additionally, two suspected moderators will be joining the alleged admin and creator in the courtroom in August. The second appearance will take place in November for a similar number of days.
Canadian Authorities Seize Bitcoin from Alleged Silk Road Vendor
The British Columbia Civil Forfeiture Office has claimed more than one million dollars in Bitcoin seized from a man accused of selling marijuana under the Silk Road vendor account “MarijuanaIsMyMuse.” The man served prison time for marijuana trafficking but, at the time, neither the charges not the sentence had an official connection to the famed Silk Road vendor.
MarijuanaIsMyMuse was one of the most popular marijuana vendors on the market at that time and had developed a reputation for quality product (the vendor sold more than just Marijuana). After the Canadian man’s 2013 arrest for marijuana trafficking, Vancouver Police never returned the man’s hard drives. They kept the hard drives even though a court ordered the return of the drives to the convicted marijuana trafficker. The Civil Forfeiture Office has claimed that the drives hold 226.4 BTC. And the bitcoin, as the alleged proceeds of marijuana trafficking, belongs to the government.
Of course, no official charges connecting the man to MarijuanaIsMyMuse have been filled.