Cops Bust Massive Online Drug Market
Hallucinogenic mushrooms on sale at a shop in Amsterdam.
CREDIT: Ellywa/Creative Commons
Authorities have busted up a Web-based criminal group and charged its members with running a very different type of farmer's market from the one you have in mind.
Police arrested eight suspects in connection with "The Farmer's Market," an online drug market that allegedly sold LSD, marijuana, ecstasy, ketamine and other illegal drugs to more than 3,000 customers in 34 countries, Wired reported.
Marc Willems, the alleged ringleader of the drug network, was arrested yesterday (April 16) in the Netherlands; his alleged second-in-command, Michael Evron, a U.S. citizen who lives in Argentina, was arrested Sunday while trying to leave Colombia, Wired said. The remaining six suspects were apprehended in the U.S.
All eight were charged with drug trafficking and money laundering, and face maximum sentences of life in prison if convicted.
Authorities say they seized LSD, hashish, ecstasy, psilocybin mushrooms and marijuana during the raids.
According to a copy of the 12-count indictment obtained by Wired, the online drug storefront began in 2006 under the name "Adamflowers." Between 2007 and 2008, the Web-based drug dealing operation allegedly processed approximately 5,256 online orders for controlled substances that netted the group just over $1 million.
Customers paid for their drugs, which also included DMT, liquid LSD, mescaline and Fentanyl, using PayPal, Western Union, e-gold, Pecunix, bank wires and cash, the indictment states. To evade detection, The Farmer's Market operated on Tor, an anonymizing network often used by cybercriminals to obscure their identity. Before moving to Tor in 2010, The Farmer's Market processed orders through Hushmail, an encrypted email service.