BY: LUKE BARR, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — The Justice Department on Tuesday announced the largest seizure of online drugs in the U.S. darknet history.
According to the Justice Department, the operation resulted in the seizure of over $6.5 million in both cash and virtual currencies, and 274 kilograms of drugs such as fentanyl, oxycodone, meth and other drugs.
The takedown was part of Operation DisrupTor, an international effort with the Justice Department’s law enforcement partners in Europe.
According to the Oxford dictionary, the darknet is a computer network with restricted access that is used chiefly for illegal peer-to-peer file sharing.
Deputy Attorney General Jeffery Rosen outlined a number of cases from jurisdictions around the U.S.
“There will be no safe haven, or drug dealing in cyberspace,” Rosen said.
“Today’s announcement is very much a success story in international law enforcement cooperation, as crime on the Darknet is truly a global problem that requires global partnership,” Rosen said in his prepared remarks. “However, the global nature of the threat also means that foreign countries who fail to act can easily become safe harbors for criminals who seek to pump lethal, addictive drugs into the United States from abroad. The Department cannot and will not allow criminals to operate with impunity.”
FBI Director Chris Wray told ABC News that the dark-net is a “perfect storm” of traditional crime and cyber crime. Acting Drug Enforcement Administration head Tim Shea, said many of the drugs are coming from Mexico.
“At the same time, we’ve seen an increase in fentanyl deaths, and that’s synthetic opioids, which is a major threat emanating from Mexico, drugs, produced on industrial scale in Mexico are shipped to the United States using the dark-web,” Shea said.
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