Dark web drug vendor identified by bitcoin transactions, by his recklessness.
Dark web drug vendor identified by bitcoin transactions on Localbitcoins
The police arrested 36-year-old Gal Vallerius in September at Atlanta airport in the US. A French citizen came to the World Beard and Mustache Championships. He pleaded guilty to selling drugs on a dark web after the police could track his criminal activities through bitcoin transactions.
Investigators found that Vallerius under the pseudonym OxyMonster created a ‘tip jar’ on the marketplace of the Dream Market. He used it to pay for his services. He
DID not USE AN INTERNAL PAYMENT SYSTEM THAT PROCESSES TRANSACTIONS USING AN ANONYMOUS TRANSACTION
as most sellers of the site did.
The identity of the seller was established through transactions from this ‘jar’ on Localbitcoins.com. In paragraph 40 of the criminal case it is said: “After observing the bitcoin ‘tip jar’ advertised by OxyMonsyter, agents conducted analysis of the incoming and outgoing transactions from that bitcoin address and learned that 15 out of 17 outgoing transactions from the OxyMonster tip jar went to multiple wallets controlled by French national Gal VALLERIUS on Localbitcoins.com.”
Stylistic analysis in social networks
Also, in paragraph 47, there is another clue: “Open source data revealed that VALLERIUS has Instagram and Twitter accounts. Agents compared the writing style of OxyMonster on Dream Market forum while in Senior Moderator role to the
“writing style of VALLERIUS on his public Instagram and Twitter accounts”
Agents discovered many similarities in the use of words and punctuation to including: the word ‘cheers;’ double exclamation marks; frequent use of quotation marks; and intermittent French posts.”
They had him red-handed
And in paragraph 42, the final evidence of the criminal activity of this citizen is told: “On August 31, 2017, VALLERIUS travelled to the United States for the first time to attend an international beard competition in Austin, Texas.
A border search of his laptop
upon his arrival at Atlanta International Airport confirmed his identity as «OxyMonster.” On his laptop was the TOR browser, apparent log-in credentials for Dream Market, $500,000 worth of bitcoin, and a PGP encryption key entitled ”OxyMonster” which matched that advertised as “OxyMonster’s” on Dream Market.”
Forced to admit guilt
After nine months of trying to avoid life imprisonment in the US, Vallerius signed a conviction this week, allowing the sale of Oxycodone and Ritalin to the Dream Market under the name OxyMonster.
Vallerius pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, as he was the administrator and supermoderator on the Dream Market, helped distribute many other illegal goods, participated in a conspiracy to launder money. Vallerius is now threatened with imprisonment for about 20 years, but not life imprisonment.
In addition to OxyMonster, Vallerius was also a member of other Dark Web trading sites as VanDeevp and had accounts on several trading platforms, such as AlphaBay, Hansa Market, TradeRoute, Valhalla and Evolution.
As this case shows, the cryptocurrency is not always anonymous, and the authorities will continue to monitor the cryptocurrency transactions of violators of the law. And the simple imprudence that Vallerius has allowed can cost freedom and for a long time.