Bitcoin Transactions Help Police Track Down Dark Web Drug Dealer
A French national has pleaded guilty to selling narcotics on the dark web after police were able to trace his criminal activities through his bitcoin accounts. Police arrested 36-year-old Gal Vallerius in September at the Atlanta airport in the US while traveling to attend a beard and mustache competition, according to Bleeping Computer.
Investigators said Vallerius, who used the name OxyMonster on the Dark Web, established a “tip jar” on the Dream Market marketplace. He did not use the marketplace’s internal payment systems that process transactions via a transaction anonymizer for collecting his tips.
Police learned that 15 of 17 outgoing transactions from the tip jar went to bitcoin wallets that Vallerius kept on LocalBitcoins. This allowed them to determine he was OxyMonster. They also found similarities between Vallerius’ and OxyMonster’s writing styles on Twitter and Instagram.
U.S. border agents seized Vallerius’ laptop when he visited the US in the fall and were able to confirm from his laptop that he was OxyMonster. Authorities also found other evidence on the laptop including a PGP encryption key he used to sign messages, Dream Market login credentials, and bitcoin wallets with addresses connected to OxyMonster vendor accounts.
The criminal complaint identified OxyMonster as someone who sold cocaine, fentanyl, LSD, oxycodone and Methamphetamine.
Vallerius Pleads Guilty
Vallerius admitted selling oxycodone and Ritalin on the Dream Market and signed a guilty plea after trying for nine months to escape a lifetime prison sentence. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money and to possess with intent to distribute illicit goods and controlled substances. He faces a possible 20 years in prison, but not a lifetime sentence.
According to investigators, Vallerius also used the name VanDeevp and had accounts on other marketplaces such as Evolution, Valhalla, TradRoute, Hansa Market and AlphaBay.
Author – Lester Coleman
Source – CCN