Drug Kingpin Jailed and Ordered to Forfeit 59 BTC
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Drug Kingpin Jailed and Ordered to Forfeit 59 BTC

2 Minuten
8 months ago

Binh Thanh Le, from Massachusetts, has been convicted of manufacturing and distributing controlled substances on the Dark Web — including MDMA, ketamine and Xanax.

Drug Kingpin Jailed and Ordered to Forfeit 59 BTC

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A man who led and organized "a highly sophisticated drug trafficking operation" has been sentenced to eight years behind bars — and ordered to forfeit 59 BTC.

Binh Thanh Le, from Massachusetts, has been convicted of manufacturing and distributing controlled substances on the Dark Web — including MDMA, ketamine and Xanax.

According to prosecutors, Le received wholesale quantities of controlled substances from around the world — and manufactured them in an office space. He launched a site called "EastSideHigh" on the Dark Web, and accepted orders and payment via Bitcoin. Drugs would then be mailed to consumers throughout the U.S.

Le was busted after meeting with undercover officers at a hotel to exchange $200,000 worth of Bitcoin for cash — and was arrested as soon as the transfer was made.

During the investigation, 19kg of MDMA, 7kg of ketamine, 1kg of cocaine and over 10,000 counterfeit Xanax pills were seized — along with a pill press. A computer was also recovered that had the "EastSideHigh" webpage open.

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Drugs Hid in Lego Boxes

At current rates, the 59 BTC seized is worth $2.3 million — in what is believed to be the first judicial forfeiture of cryptocurrency in Massachusetts. U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins said Le's sentence sends a message that Dark Web criminals will be brought to justice, adding:

"The Dark Web is a rising threat to our communities and must be taken very seriously. Anonymous networks open the door for people, including our children, to order deadly amounts of illegal narcotics from anywhere in the world and have them delivered to their doorsteps."

"Hundreds of hours" of investigative work took place in order to shut down the operation — and officials have warned that the postal network "is continuously working to disrupt and dismantle the underground marketplace and enhance its ability to prevent and combat criminal activity."

According to the Boston Herald, Le and his associates relied on a "medley of post office boxes" around the area — and the drugs were concealed in packages that were marked as "Lego boxes for kids." But within the Lego packaging, colorful plastic bricks were replaced with vacuum-packed bags filled with powder that was confirmed as MDMA in tests.

Le was said to be 22 years old when he started the "EastSideHigh" storefront in a part of the internet that can only be reached using Tor software.

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