Three people have been arrested for their roles in a dark web drug trafficking operation which was based in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the culprits were the target of a yearlong investigation into an alleged claim of a Nanaimo based drug ring.
The RCMP’s Federal Serious and Organized Crime (FSOC) began the investigation in January 2019 after the illegal drug ring’s cryptocurrency transactions were tracked and linked to a dark web drug trafficking operation. The investigation which was dubbed “EPateriform,” targeted a well-known drug dealer on the dark web who hid behind the moniker “AlwaysOvrWeight”.
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According to investigators, “AlwaysOvrWeight” was responsible for the online sale of heroin, cocaine, psychedelic mushrooms, methamphetamine, fentanyl, GHB also known in the illicit drug world as a club drug or date rape drug and other illicit substances to Canadians. Officers of the Royal Canadian Mount Police, also operating on the dark web behind the moniker “bcpremo88” managed to unmask other suspects who were working with the alleged mastermind of the dark web drug trafficking ring, who were all using the “AlwaysOvrWeight” moniker.
Officers through conventional and non-conventional techniques also tracked down the location of AlwaysOvrWeight to Nanaimo, British Columbia. On February 4, 2020, officers of the RCMP in collaboration with FSOC and the Federal Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response Team executed a search warrant at the address the police tracked down which was located in then3900-block of Hammond Bay Road in Nanaimo. Officers uncovered a GHB manufacturing and processing lab, together with drug packing items and other drug paraphernalia .
A second search warrant executed by the police on the same day at a second residence located in the 6100-block of Kiara Place in Nanaimo, also uncovered several pieces of evidence, linking the drug trafficking ring to the dark web. Three suspects were arrested by the police after the second search. Reports from the RCMP, however, states that the three people haven’t been charged yet as the investigation is still ongoing.
Tim Arseneault, RCMP Inspector in a statement after the arrest stated that the arrest was only possible because of the determination of the part of officers with the RCMP. He added that they used ingenuity and innovative techniques to bypass the anonymity of the dark web which was shielding the illegal drug trafficking ring.
Superintendent Richard Bergevin of the RCMP’s Federal Serious and Organized Crime also added that the arrest caps the success of a very challenging journey. He stated that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will keep up the good work and continue to work to ensure the safety of all Canadians in the real world and on the internet.
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Officers of the RCMP, after the arrest also commended the Canada Post for their help and cooperation in unmasking these criminals and also the Nanaimo and Powell River RCMP detachments. This arrest marks the latest Canadian citizen or citizens to be arrested after a Canadian man who was alleged to be the senior adviser for the creator of the now-defunct Silk Road marketplace pleaded guilty in court. 56-year-old Roger Thomas Clark admitted to a single charge of conspiracy to distribute narcotics. The Canadian man reportedly operated behind the monikers “Plural of Mongoose” and “Variety Jones,” and acted as the right-hand man in the operations of the dark web marketplace.
Clark is now facing up to at least 20 years in prison. He was previously charged with six criminal charges including conspiracy to commit money laundering, and narcotics trafficking. As part of his guilty plea, the Canadian admitted to providing technical advice to the creator of the site on how to run it effectively. He described himself as the “de facto head of marketing” for the dark web marketplace.
He also stated that he created new ideas for improving the technical structure of the dark web site which made it easier to navigate your way through. He also added that he had plans of how to expand the Silk Road brand into a much bigger one. Clark was described by officials of the federal Bureau of Investigations as a central figure of the dark web marketplace and was prepared to kill people for the growth of the site. He was accused by the FBI of hiring a hitman to kill a former employee of the site for allegedly stealing from them.
Source: Vancouver Sun
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