The dark web is filled with a lot of illegal activity, ranging from selling drugs to selling guns. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 40 “illicit vendors” by tracking them on the dark web. The operation was called “Operation Dark Gold” and was established by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The mission targeted illegal marketplaces and communities on the darknet and was successful.
The bust involved $20 million dollars in cryptocurrency and cash and $3.6 million in gold bars. Grenade launchers, 24 kilograms of Xanax and synthetic opioids were also confiscated by the Justice Department. Angel Melendez, HSI-NY special agent and the man in charge of the operation, stated that “the focus of this operation was not only to take down darknet marketplaces but to target the bad actors”. He went on to say that the “Darknet is founded on a network of criminals that trust each other”.
Derek Benner, HSI executive associate director, issued the following statement:
“The darknet is ever-changing and increasingly more intricate, making locating and targeting those selling illicit items on this platform more complicated. But in this case, HSI special agents were able to walk amongst those in the cyber underworld to find those vendors who sell highly addictive drugs for a profit.”
Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General, did not hesitate to congratulate the men and women involved in “Operation Dark Gold”.
Rosenstein issued the following statement:
“Criminals who think that they are safe on the darknet are wrong. Authorities can now bring down criminals who are on the dark web. We can expose their networks, and we are determined to bring them to Justice.”
The government seems to be cracking down on dark web hackers tougher than ever before. The U.S. government has developed laws on cybercrime since the beginning of the dot-com era. Today, more time and money is being spent on the prevention of illegal, underground cyber activity.
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