A total of 150 people have been arrested in a US-Europe drug investigation

October 26, 2021 By admin 0

Law enforcement officials in the US and Europe have arrested 150 people and seized more than $ 31 million in an international drug trafficking investigation from the darknet trade, the Department of Justice said on Tuesday.

The arrests are linked to a ten-month investigation between US government officials and Europol in Europe. Prosecutors say the defendants are guilty of trafficking in tens of thousands of dollars to the U.S., United Kingdom, Australia, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate talks about Operation Dark HunTor, a joint opioid crime, and darknet operation, during a press conference at the US Department of Justice in Washington, DC, on October 26, 2021.

FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate talks about Operation Dark HunTor, a joint opioid crime, and darknet operation, during a press conference at the US Department of Justice in Washington, DC, on October 26, 2021.

The Department of Justice said investigators seized more than $ 31.6 million in cash and 45 firearms.

Darknet is a part of the Internet that is hosted within an encrypted network and is accessible only through specialized tools that provide anonymity, especially Tor Browser.

Investigators also found a large number of illegal drugs, including counterfeit drugs and opioid pills, as well as more than 152 pounds of amphetamine, 21 pounds of cocaine, and 32.5 pounds of MDMA, according to prosecutors.

The detainees included 65 people in the US, 47 in Germany, 24 people in the United Kingdom, four in Italy, four in the Netherlands, three in France, two in Switzerland, and one in Bulgaria.

Acting Director Tae Johnson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement speaks during a news conference at the Washington Department of Justice, Tuesday, October 26, 2021. U.S. and European law enforcement officials arrested 150 people and seized more than $ 31 million in the area. an international investigation into drug trafficking from darknet sales.

Acting Director Tae Johnson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement speaks during a news conference at the Washington Department of Justice, Tuesday, October 26, 2021. U.S. and European law enforcement officials arrested 150 people and seized more than $ 31 million in the area. an international investigation into drug trafficking from darknet sales.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said investigators found darknet vendors using counterfeit laboratories in their homes to make counterfeit pills – designed to look like painkillers given by a doctor – containing fentanyl, methamphetamine, and other illegal drugs.

The project was specifically designed for “drug distributors who use darknet to trade in these illegal drugs and products such as a pill printer, exacerbating the ongoing opioid problem that plagues our communities,” said Monaco.

The Department of Justice said its investigation was ongoing and investigators were still working to identify other people using darknet accounts.

When the Department of Justice conducted a similar investigation in the past, investigators were particularly concerned when they first saw an increase in opioid sales in the dark during the violence.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, second from left, and, from left, Deputy Executive Director Jean-Philippe-Lecouffe of Europol; FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate; Assistant Attorney-General Kenneth Polite Jr. of the Criminal Justice Department of the Department of Justice; and Chief Drug Administration Anne Milgram, speaking during a news conference at the Department of Justice in Washington, Tuesday, October 26, 2021. Law enforcement officials in the US and Europe arrested 150 people and seized more than $ 31 million in international drug trafficking. smuggling investigation from darknet sales.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, second from left, and, from left, Deputy Executive Director Jean-Philippe-Lecouffe of Europol; FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate; Assistant Attorney-General Kenneth Polite Jr. of the Criminal Justice Department of the Department of Justice; and Chief Drug Administration Anne Milgram, speaking during a news conference at the Department of Justice in Washington, Tuesday, October 26, 2021. Law enforcement officials in the US and Europe arrested 150 people and seized more than $ 31 million in international drug trafficking. smuggling investigation from darknet sales.

“Since the start of the COVID-19 epidemic, more and more people are turning to the darknet than ever to buy drugs,” Monaco said.

“Before I close, I want to talk to those who are still in the darknet, those who sell illegal drugs and think they are safe after the digital anonymity. My message to you is simple: There is no black internet. We can and will shine the light, ”said Monaco.