A former Silk Road drug dealer was apprehended and charged by authorities with the attempt of laundering $19 million worth of Bitcoin he made from selling drugs.
The accused named Hugh Brian Haney allegedly made $19 million in bitcoin by selling drugs on the Silk Road, a dark web market where many illegal services and products were sold. The site was shut down by US law enforcement agencies back in 2013.
Even though 6 years have passed since then, Haney was recently arrested as he tried to launder this money.
“As alleged, Hugh Haney used Silk Road as a means to sell drugs to people all over the world. Then he allegedly laundered his profits — more than $19 million — through cryptocurrency,” said the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey S. Berman. ”[The] arrest should be a warning to dealers peddling their drugs on the dark web that they cannot remain anonymous forever, especially when attempting to legitimize their illicit proceeds.”
Haney’s Silk Road pseudonym was allegedly “Pharmville.”
Authorities picked up on Haney’s drug trade activity and started monitoring him during the time when Silk Road was under surveillance by federal agents.
Haney allegedly earned $19 mln in Bitcoin by selling large amounts of illegal narcotics substances, including OxyContin, fentanyl, and ketamine.
In February 2018, the defendant transferred his millions to an anonymous BTC wallet on an unidentified crypto exchange and exchanged them into fiat. He then proceeded to cash out and deposit them into a personal bank account.
The accused said to the exchange company the bitcoins were made through recent mining activities. Federal agents confiscated all of the money from Haney’s bank account.
The court charged him with one count each of concealment money laundering and engaging in a financial transaction using illegally obtained funds, in this case, Bitcoin. If he is convicted for both charges, he will serve a maximum cumulative prison sentence of 30 years. His court hearing is scheduled on July 30.