Two dark web drug dealers have been arrested in California after selling more than $9 million worth of Adderall pills on the Dream Market dark web store. The pair sold their pills and accepted Bitcoin as the sole payment method – the key to their undoing. As Ross Ulbricht learned, Bitcoin isn’t anonymous in any way, meaning it was rather easy for the police to roll in and find the dynamic duo.
Not Learning from Silk Road
One of the biggest flaws of Silk Road was the fact it only accepted Bitcoin, leading to Ross Ulbricht’s demise and sentencing to a lifetime in jail. Bitcoin is only pseudo-anonymous, meaning as soon as someone works out who owns one Bitcoin address, they can trace all of their transactions. As most crypto exchanges have KYC and AML procedures in place, it didn’t take the police long to trace transactions back to the duo. After the huge Silk Road scandal and exposure, you would think the duo would demand payments in Bitcoin to use CoinJoins or use a different privacy-focused cryptocurrency.
Caught Buying Stamps
Tzu Yang “Issac” Lin – one of the men behind the drug store – was tasked with packaging up the pills and posting them to the buyers. However, after using Endicia to buy his stamps and automate his shipping process, it gave law enforcement an even easier way to trace packages to the duo. Tzu Lin hooked up his dark web order API to the Endicia system that automatically created the stamps needed. Once law enforcement had access to this data, it was game over.
Selling Counterfeit Pills
There is a difference between selling genuine pills and fake ones, and the pair were in fact selling fake Adderall pills. This is not only a bad deal for customers, it’s very dangerous for those taking the pills. The cook Meng Ting “Leo” Hu decided to throw out the Adderall recipe and made his own pills containing just methamphetamine. Rather than having the desired effect, customers would be taken on a very different type of trip.
Fortunately, the pair were taken down by law enforcement after they made $9 million in sales. Thanks to the nature of Bitcoin and the pair using a public mail system, the takedown was rather simple and straightforward. Earlier this year, a nurse was arrested for selling genuine prescription drugs on the dark web, she had a stellar rating on her store. Raking in just shy of $500,000 in the process, Farmacy41 was a popular drug store. If you’re going to sell drugs online, take your privacy seriously and use a more privacy-focused cryptocurrency – not Bitcoin.