A covert operation led by undercover cop has finally borne fruition. The operation has landed the dark web drug lord into hot soup. The kingpin cum drug lord of the dark web marketplace is now being charged and faces penalties summing up to around $4 million in bitcoin currency.
The kingpin goes by several aliases with the most known being Jagger 109/chems-Usa/Chemusa. Also known as Richard Castro, the kingpin is being charged with the sale of restricted substances. The conduct of this control done is said to have been undertaken via an encrypted email. The kingpin has been indicted for the use of the dark web to facilitate the sale of drugs among other illegal activities since the year 2015 to present.as per the charges filed against him; Richard now looks at the sentencing of up to ten years behind bars. The charges can extrapolate to a life sentence penalty.
Answering the charges, the kingpin has pleaded guilty to all counts leveled against him. These include money laundering and the distribution of controlled substances. The former charge carries with it maximum sentencing and imprisonment of 20 years.
Richard Castro, who is 36 years of age, has also conceded to forfeit $4 million that includes funds and finances from seven different bitcoin wallets. Over recent years, Castro has been dealing drugs on the dark web and receiving payment remittances via the same in bitcoin cryptocurrency. The drugs are said to range from controlled painkillers and tranquilizers and other opioid derivatives such as Carfentanil and fentanyl. These have been established to be the most traded by the drug kingpin.
Richard Castro, a Florida resident, used the dark web markets such as Alphabay to engage with prospective buyers. Out of the drugs he sold on the dark web, Carfentanil is known to be deadly and is only officially available for official use in the sedation of elephants. Castro claims to have facilitated over 3200 rug transactions using the dark web with about 1800 of those being primarily on Alphabay.
In June of 2018, Castro expanded moving his trading platform. He is said to have informed his clients that they could now make orders via encrypted emails. Such a set up would require his customers to pay an upfront connection fee. This is notably the channel through which the operation that seized him was conducted.
The undercover cop conducted the drug transaction via the encrypted email and had the shipment delivered to him by Castro’s partner Luis Fernandez.
As per Richard Castro’s statement, he has been receiving the payments for the drug shipments using Bitcoin, BTC that was directed to an array of about seven wallet addresses. He also confessed to have bought over 100 quadrillion Zimbabwe banknotes and other valuables such as assets using the proceeds of his business.
The entirety of the information on the operation was availed to the public by Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman who opined “as he admitted today, for years, Richard Castro used the dark web to distribute prolific quantities of powerful opioids.”
The news comes following the just recent arrest of an individual accused of attempts at money laundering using the bitcoin cryptocurrency. He was charged for the intent to launder around$19 million worth of bitcoin that had similarly been acquired ion the dark web as proceeds of drug dealings. Hugh Haney has been indicted by homeland security and should he be found guilty of the counts of crime leveled upon him; he could be looking at a 30-year imprisonment sentence. Homeland security says it has enough evidence against Hanley and his bitcoin proceeds from the drug deals on the dark web
According to reports and news from media houses, Castro’s final sentencing has been slated for the 25 of October 2019.