From the Dark Web to Crypto: Drug Dealers Plead Guilty to $2.8M Money Laundering

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s office has recently announced a case in which two defendants had been caught using their dark web to sell anabolic steroids and other controlled substances. Two Texas guys, Callaway Crain (35) and Mark Sanchez (35), had apparently been operating a steroid and controlled substances business that laundered around $2.8 million of dollars in crypto and Western Union payments.

The development was announced by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. on April 23 and stated that two guilty pleas have been entered by two members of a drug ring that laundered its profits through cryptocurrency. According to the announcement, the defendants sold a wide range of controlled substances which were manufactured, promoted and shipped all by their own selves ,and later listed on the website called ‘NextDayGear’ under their control on the dark web.

They also purchased the raw materials and other substances such as steroids and precursor chemicals from China and other countries. The materials were used to manufacture and pack the drugs under the brand name they created and later sold them online. Their network was spread in 50 states in the U.S and sixteen other countries.

The defendants sold injectable steroids and oral steroids and shipped more than 10,000 packages across the U.S. between 2013 and 2018. Their operation generated them a revenue of a whopping $2.8 million through cryptocurrency and Western Union payments, which they laundered and converted to cash.

They have not only been charged for laundering money but also for selling drugs on their own network. Some of their clients were a college football player, a professional volleyball player, police officers, members of the armed services deployed overseas, fitness trainers, body builders, drug dealers, doctors, lawyers, and a high school athletic coach.

District Attorney Vance released the following statement:

“These defendants raked in crypto and cash worth millions on their full-service website that sold prescription-free counterfeit steroids and other controlled substances to customers in all fifty states. Online drug sellers who do business in New York should take note: whether you’re operating in plain sight or in hidden corners of the dark web, my Office has the skills and resources to follow the money, shut down your business, and hold you accountable.”

This isn’t the first case that a dark web drug ring has been investigated and charged; however, the case is the first conviction of cryptocurrency money laundering by New York prosecutors. The defendants will be sentenced in July.

Previously, three New Jersey men – Chester Anderson (44), Jarrett Codd (41) and Ronald McCarty (51) – have been arrested for operating the fraudulent drug storefront on the dark web and successfully laundering $2.3 million in cryptocurrency.

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