25.06.18 Darknet and Cybercrime Roundup
“Variety Jones” Arraigned, Pleaded Not Guilty to All Six Charges
Variety Jones aka Roger Clark was arraigned before a United States District Judge at the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. As expected (for any defendant), Clark pleaded not guilty to the entire indictment. As previously reported, the indictment accuses Clark of a wide variety of crimes linked to the Silk Road marketplace and Ross Ulbricht, the convicted owner of Silk Road.
FBI and IRS Special Agents attended the arraignment hearing. Clark is currently being held at the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center.
Bulk MDMA Importer Headed to Prison for 30 Months
The UK’s National Crime Agency announced that Lukas Urbutis, 25, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for smuggling more than nine kilograms of MDMA into Ireland. The investigation and arrest involved the NCA, the UK Border Force, and Police Service of Northern Ireland.
Urbutis, a Lithuanian man living in Camlough, Newry, in Northern Ireland, had attempted to import $700,000 worth of MDMA in 2017. The UK Border Force spotted the package of drugs and worked with the NCA and PSNI to ensure Urbutis’ arrest. At a sentencing hearing in late June of this year, a Newry Crown Court sentenced Urbutis to a prison sentence of two years and six months. The PSNI announced that they considered the sentence a successful end to a drug importation case that would have been responsible for “supplying drugs and fostering violence.”
Fentanyl Dealer to Spend Two Decades in Prison
United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon of the US Attorney’s Office of the District of South Carolina, in a statement to the press, announced that Robert Bryan Mansfield, 61, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for fentanyl distribution that resulted in the death of one of the man’s customers. The US Attorney thanked Homeland Security Investigations for contributing to the sentencing of a yet another fentanyl vendor.
After Homeland Security Investigations agents intercepted a package from China that contained one kilogram of fentanyl, HSI agents raided the 61-year-old’s Charleston home. At his house, agents found more fentanyl and evidence that Mansfield had been buying fentanyl from bulk suppliers in China and reselling the drug in smaller quantities through darknet markets. Authorities had originally charged the man for fentanyl distribution, but later changed the indictment after they discovered one of Mansfield’s customers had fatally overdosed on fentanyl purchased from Mansfield. After he spends roughly 20 years in prison federal prison—between age 78 and 81—Mansfield will spend another five years on supervised release.
Utah: Three Enter Guilty Pleas in the PharmaMaster Case
Three associates of the infamous darknet vendor “Pharma-Master” have pleaded guilty to fentanyl distribution and alprazolam distribution. The associates had helped the ringleader—Aaron Shamo—produce pills in Shamo’s basement that he later sold on darknet marketplaces. Many of Shamo’s co-defendants simply packaged drugs, dropped packages off at Post Offices, or received packages from China.
The three co-defendants played relatively insignificant roles in Shamo’s operation. Two started out simply receiving packages of fentanyl and alprazolam from China in exchange for a few hundred dollars per package. They later helped manage orders and shipping. The third co-defendant—according to one of the recent superseding indictments—simply dropped packages off at Post Offices nearby. Guilty pleas have been entered for almost every named co-defendant in the Pharma-Master case. Shamo and his partner are still sitting in jail waiting for their trials.
Defense Forces Employee Sentenced for Selling Explosives on the Darknet
A court in Finland has sentenced a Navy 1st Lieutenant to an 18-month suspended sentence for stealing explosives from the Defense Forces and selling said explosives on the darknet. DeepDotWeb covered the case in June 2017 after Finnish Defense Forces had posed as a buyer on a darknet market in an effort to bust the person responsible for the theft of the military equipment.
One year ago, in the region of Uusimaa, Finnish police reported that they had arrested a “Defense Forces Employee” for selling explosives and ammunition that he had stolen from the Defense Forces. Someone had tipped the police off that an entity on the dark web had listed the explosives for sale on the darknet. The items had apparently matched items stolen from the Defense Forces at an unknown date. In conjunction with the Finnish Defense Forces, local police investigated the theft.