Man Accused Of Using Postal Service, Bitcoin For Dark Web Drug Deals

By Victoria Kim 05/09/18

Undercover agents reportedly purchased anti-anxiety medication, meth and heroin from the Denver man.

man sitting in dark using laptop

The Silk Road may be down for good, but illicit internet drug dealing continues to grow, thanks to the dark web and bitcoin.

A Denver man was arrested in April after a six-month investigation observed as he sold illicit drugs online, using the post office and the digital currency bitcoin to carry out his business.

Paul Carlos Moseley, 31, is being held without bond as he awaits his first hearing on May 18, when he will face charges of drug dealing, drug conspiracy, and using the internet in a drug facility, according to the Denver Post. If convicted, he could be sent to prison for 60+ years.

Federal investigators, who posed as buyers and monitored Moseley’s vehicles with GPS tracking, allege that he has shipped heroin, cocaine, LSD and more all over the United States via the U.S. Postal Service, while collecting payments in bitcoin, a form of digital currency that has grown in popularity.

The Denver Post reported that undercover agents purchased drugs from Moseley, and observed how he got the product to the buyer.

Last October, an agent ordered 50 tablets of clonazepam, an anti-anxiety medication, and 3 grams of heroin. Moseley was captured via surveillance video purchasing stamps in a Denver post office from an automated teller machine.

The agent received a tracking number from Moseley for the package that would arrive in Pittsburgh. Once it did, authorities lifted Moseley’s fingerprints from the package.

And in April, an agent purchased 14 grams of heroin and 1 gram of methamphetamine. The Post says authorities also intercepted “several other packages” of Moseley’s that contained cocaine, heroin, meth and LSD.

Moseley accepted payments in bitcoin, which allowed him to store his funds in a “bitcoin wallet” instead of a bank.

“Individuals store information about their bitcoin in a bitcoin wallet, which act as a bitcoin equivalent of a bank account,” according to federal court records.

It’s unknown just how much money Moseley made from selling drugs this way—but there’s no doubt that dark web drug-dealing is big business.

According to a 2016 report, drug revenues from dark web marketplaces—or cryptomarkets—had doubled globally.

The researchers, from the University of Manchester and the University of Montreal, concluded that the recent closure of the Silk Road, which was once the largest dark web marketplace before it was shuttered by authorities, did nothing to slow down cryptomarkets and the inevitable drug dealing associated with them.

“The closure of Silk Road has not curbed the growth of these cryptomarkets, as more markets continue to be created and more illicit drugs are being bought online,” said author Stijn Hoorens, a research leader at RAND Europe.

Before Silk Road was closed down, and its founder sentenced to life in prison, it was generating nearly $213.9 million in sales and $13.2 million in commissions, according to The Guardian.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr