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KNAU and Arizona News

Federal and Arizona Authorities Report Convictions in Internet-based Drug Ring

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The Arizona U-S Attorney’s Office says multiple people in the state have been sentenced to prison for using the dark web to distribute heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine.

Four defendants have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and launder proceeds from drug distribution. According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, between 2015 and 2017, the defendants used the vendor name “Iceman21” to advertise and sell heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine on various dark web marketplaces.

The investigation revealed that the defendants were using the U.S. Postal Service to ship drugs from the Phoenix metropolitan area to locations throughout the United States. During the investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service seized parcels containing illegal drugs.

To conceal and launder proceeds the defendants generated through drug distribution, they  used encrypted technology, sold cryptocurrency through peer-to-peer exchangers, and created bank accounts for non-existent businesses.

The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations, and the United States Postal Inspection Service, with assistance from the Scottsdale, Mesa, and Peoria Police Departments.

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