In only 4 days, between March 26 and March 30, hundreds of darknet market users have been confronted or arrested for the buying and selling of opioids and opioid RCs in a massive FBI operation that’s primary focus is to stem the issues caused by the number of opioids which have been flooding out of the dark web.
This is the first Federal operation of it’s kind to occur throughout all 50 states and the name of this project is called “Operation Dissaray”. Operation Dissaray is only part of the Department of Justice’s initiative to reduce the opioid epidemics that the United States is currently struggling with, and so far it seems to be very successful in catching American darknet market users.
“We see a number of individuals go from consuming to becoming distributors because they’ve become comfortable using the marketplaces. Anyone who owns a computer could potentially be involved in this type of activity.” Stated Special Agent Eric Yingling, an agent from the Pittsburgh FBI Division who specializes in investigating activity on the darknet and in darknet markets.
But there are other risks beyond Law Enforcement, Yingling pointed out. Often the opioids purchased off the darknet are tainted with research chemicals or fentanyl, which can lead to a quick overdose. We noticed this just recently when reviewing the Dream Market feedback in the article we published the other day about the arrest of DARKKING22. Who was one of the money arrested in Operation Dissaray.
The overall operation includes hundreds of agents and federal employees from numerous divisions including.
- Federal Borough of Investigation (FBI)
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection
- Department of Homeland Security
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
- U.S. Postal Inspection Service
During just the 4 days between March 26 and March 30 of this year, the Federal task team have conducted searches, made arrests and even carried out “knock and talks” with over 160 people who have been suspected of using Darknet Markets to buy or sell drugs. From the information, they have discovered that at least 19 of the suspects died due to an overdose prior to questioning. They also executed numerous search warrants, which resulted in the seizure of weapons, drugs, counterfeit currency, and computer equipment.
It was announced earlier this year that the FBI-led J-CODE team (Join Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement) had been training state and local officers about Darknet Markets and their involvement with the increase of opioid abuse.
Earlier this year Law Enforcement began their war on opioids by initiating an investigation into the pharmaceutical section. During their 45 day investigation DEA had revoked 147 licenses of individuals who handle controlled substances and arrested 28 prescribers and pharmacists. The actions were taken as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.
“The FBI has made the J-CODE a priority, and we are bringing together significant resources to strategically attack this crime problem,” Brest said. Operation Disarray was the first major J-CODE action, and, he continued, “we will consider the operation a success if our actions prevented one more person from overdosing on illegal narcotics.”