Suspected Dark Web Dealer Arrested En Route To Beard Contest

By David Konow 10/04/17

Gal Vallerius was headed to Austin, Texas to compete in a beard championship when he was arrested.

Image: 
Gal Vallerius
Gal Vallerius Photo via YouTube

Gal Vallerius, who also reportedly goes by the moniker of “OxyMonster,” is an alleged dark web drug kingpin who was arrested by authorities on his way to participate in the finals of the World Beard and Moustache Championships in Austin, Texas.

The Miami Herald reports that Vallerius, who has a home in France, was headed to the contest when he was apprehended by authorities in Atlanta on August 31. (And indeed Vallerius has a long, scraggly beard that goes past his chest. The Guardian reports that he was competing in the “full beard 30.1–45 cm” category.)

According to a DEA affidavit, “A border search of his laptop upon his arrival at Atlanta International Airport confirmed his identity as ‘OxyMonster.’”

People who deal in illegal goods on the dark web use Tor software, which was developed by the Naval Research Lab so that people could surf the web anonymously with maximum security—but it also opened a back door for a lot of illegal activity that is hard to trace.

A Tor browser was found on Vallerius’s laptap, and he also had $500,000 in Bitcoin currency, which is how people make illegal transactions on the dark web.

Vallerius is suspected of dealing drugs out of Dream MarketThe DEA is accusing Vallerius of being an administrator and moderator on the dark web site. On Dream Market, Vallerius advertised on his webpage that he shipped drugs from France to all areas of Europe and the United States.

According to Techspot, Vallerius was allegedly a big OxyContin and crystal meth dealer. DEA agent Austin Love stated in the affidavit that “OxyMonster’s vendor profile featured listings for Schedule II controlled substances Oxycontin and Ritalin. His profile listed 60 prior sales and five-star reviews from buyers.”

Dream Market had been investigated by the DEA and other law enforcement agencies since early 2016. While one of the most notorious dark web sites Silk Road was shut down by the FBI in 2013, and its founder Ross Ulbricht sentenced to life in prison, drug deals on the dark web are apparently still thriving, with one study reporting that dark web sales had increased since Ulrbicht was sentenced.

If convicted, Vallerius could also be sentenced to life in prison for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix
Disqus comments
david-konow.jpg

In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Disqus comments