Dark web drug offenses have traditionally been linked with underground criminals. People with no other ways of making a living or dishonest persons wanting to make money without exerting any effort.
The Criminal Organization
Recent claims of a U.S. army veteran participating in dark web crimes may debunk the long-held belief that unlawful subterranean trade is the domain of seasoned criminals. It turns out that the itch to live lavishly by selling narcotics on the dark web may, after all, catch anybody.
The US government has disclosed that a 25-year-old military veteran named James Verl Barlow made a fortune selling psychedelic drugs. This was done on a variety of dark web markets under the handle Tripwithscience for eight years.
US authorities are still gathering evidence in order to prosecute the suspect. If found guilty, the suspect is claimed to be one of the most successful drug distributors on the dark web. The 25-year-old might be related to another suspect belonging to the 'Tripwithscience' criminal group. This is according to the army vet's coordinator.
Authorities have also identified another co-conspirator, Matthew Barlow, who was the suspect's brother. Together with their associates, they ran a highly complex dark web drug business that spanned the globe.
It was discovered that the criminal organization specialized in psychedelic substances, specifically mushrooms. The products were grown by an associate named Ronald Brust. According to a statement from the US Department of Justice, liquefied fungus would be combined on US territory. The packages would then be sent to the UK for packaging and transportation across the world.
According to further allegations, the criminals specialized in selling liquid hallucinogenic mushrooms. They would be sold in 9mg vials for $20 apiece on a variety of dark web markets, including the now-defunct Silk Road 2.0 and Empire Market.
Modern darknet markets like as Monopoly and Televend were also used by the criminal organization on the dark web. Televend Market, on the other hand, was recently compromised. It is still unclear what exactly happened to the platform. Many have reported being locked out of their accounts.
Data allegedly related to the army vet's Google account was retrieved by law enforcement officers in January. Authorities discovered spreadsheets containing information on sales. The sales were related to Tripwithscience and another seller named Perfectshrooms. The prosecutors claim that the army veteran helped manage both of the accounts.
According to investigators, the accounts raked in 704 dark web transactions totaling 1,544 Bitcoin. Today this is worth roughly $90 million. Another spreadsheet revealed that the dark web drug trader completed around 2,300 Bitcoin transactions between 2014 and 2020, totaling nearly $140 millio. This includes the $4,000 per month he was paid to serve in the United States army as a sergeant first class.
James Barlow and his brother were arrested in April, but have yet to enter a plea to the accusations against them. Until their trial date, Brust and the other partners have plead not guilty.
The trials for the case are set to take place in the coming months. It is unclear what punishment the prosecution is going to push for, but it is expected to be severe. The fact that this latest criminal has been serving for the U.S. military demonstrates how everyone, even the most unsuspecting people can get caught in crime.