Dark Web Drug Suspect Cuffed On Way to Beard Contest
A suspected dark web drug kingpin has been arrested in the US on the way to a beard-growing contest, it has emerged.
Gal Vallerius, 38, was cuffed in Atlanta International Airport at the end of August en route from his home in France to the competition in Austin, Texas.
Searching his laptop, border officials apparently found hundreds of thousands of dollars in Bitcoin, a Tor browser, and PGP keys linked to an “OxyMonster”.
That name is used by an administrator and senior moderator on Dream Market: a typical darknet drugs marketplace.
According to a DEA affidavit filed in Florida, the authorities have been investigating the site for around 18 months, buying small amounts of drugs to gain the trust of the admins.
They found OxyMonster listing 11 controlled substances including OxyContin and Ritalin for sale and shipment anywhere in the world from France, with a profile listing 60 prior sales.
Following a Bitcoin address for “tips” from satisfied customers, they followed it back to a Localbitcoins.com account registered to Gal Vallerius, according to the Miami Herald.
They then found Vallerius on Twitter and Instagram and noted stark similarities between his writing style and that of OxyMonster’s.
Vallerius is expected to be transferred to Miami soon, where he will face a conspiracy indictment that could land him up to life in prison if found guilty.
The case is yet another example of the inroads law enforcers are making into so-called dark web sites; usually by capitalizing on mistakes made by those arrested.
In July, two major international law enforcement operations led to the takedown of AlphaBay and Hansa: two of the dark web’s biggest marketplaces sites responsible for the trading of over 350,000 illicit commodities.
An FBI-DEA operation tracked the founder and administrator of Alpha Bay – a Canadian citizen – to Thailand where he was arrested on 5 July and millions of dollars in crypto-currency seized.
Source: Information Security Magazine