The U.S. government is looking to confiscate 4,000 Bitcoin (BTC) involved in drug trading via the dark web market. The converted price would reach more than $ 22 million.
The Department of Justice, District of Maryland has published a press release on 26th June, indicating that the authority accused Ryan Farace and Robert Swain, residents of Maryland for illegal involvement in drug distribution via dark web markets.
“A federal grand jury has indicted Ryan Farace, age 34, of Reisterstown, Maryland, and Robert Swain, age 34, of Freeland, Maryland, on charges related to a scheme to manufacture and distribute alprazolam tablets, which are typically sold under the brand name ‘Xanax’,” reported the prosecutors.
Suspects required Bitcoins (BTC) as payments
It was identified that the two men would have demanded between November 2013 and June 2017 payments in Bitcoin (BTC), currencies that are to be confiscated.
“According to the six-count indictment, from no later than November 2013 through June 2017, Farace purchased narcotics manufacturing equipment, including pill presses and counterfeit “Xanax” pill molds, which he used to press loose alprazolam powder into tablet or pill form, and which he intended to resemble legitimate Xanax pills. The indictment alleges that Farace solicited orders for the alprazolam pills on dark web marketplaces and sold alprazolam pills directly to buyers in exchange for Bitcoin,” noted the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office requires to confiscate 4,000 Bitcoin
“As part of the indictment, the government seeks the forfeiture of no less than $5,665,000, plus the value of 4,000 bitcoin believed to be the proceeds of the illegal drug sales,” the Department of Justice wrote in the announcement.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office demands the seizure of 4,000 Bitcoin (BTC). If the request is approved by the higher authorities, it could become the subject of a future grand auction in the crypto industry.
The U.S. authorities have had to deal in the past with the confiscation of cryptocurrencies following their involvement in illegal activities. One of the most memorable confiscations was the case of Silk Road founder, who sold 80,000 Bitcoins on a dark web marketplace between 2013 and 2014.
Also, in the first quarter of 2018, the U.S. The Marshals Service has organized an auction for over 3,800 confiscated Bitcoins worth $ 51 million. Since then, the U.S. government has attempted to confiscate another 500 BTC.