Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks throughout a press conference at the Justice Department in Washington, April 14, 2023, on considerable worldwide drug trafficking enforcement action.
A consortium of U.S. and worldwide police made 288 arrests and took over $53 million in money and cryptocurrency as part of an “unprecedented” dark-web drug enforcement action called Operation SpecTor, Attorney General Merrick Garland stated in an interview Tuesday.
“The Justice Department is cracking down on criminal cryptocurrency transactions,” Garland stated, “and the online criminal marketplaces that enable them.”
Dozens of guns and more than 850 kgs of drugs were likewise taken in Operation SpecTor, an allusion to the dark-web surfing procedure. The operation was collaborated together with Europol and led to the seizure of a dark-web market called Monopoly Market, according to a news release from the European firm.
The operation started in October 2021, Garland stated.
The Justice Department stated more than 100 federal operations and prosecutions had actually been made in the U.S. Garland stated 153 domestic suspects had actually been apprehended, consisting of a California guy who presumably offered almost $2 million worth of fentanyl and methamphetamine on the dark web.
German authorities initially took the market’s online facilities in December 2021 and worked together with Europol and worldwide police to pursue “high-value targets” who offered drugs and illegal items all over the world.
SpecTor is an extension of the very same efforts that interrupted darknet market Hydra in 2022 and online identity theft website Genesis Market in 2023.
“Our message to criminals on the dark web is this: You can try to hide in the furthest reaches of the internet, but the Justice Department will find you and hold you accountable for your crimes,” Garland stated in a declaration.
Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigative group were included. Law enforcement from Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland and the United Kingdom were likewise included.