As part of a law enforcement effort called Operation DisrupTor, more than 120 people have been arrested for selling drugs online.
In Southern California, investigators have successfully dismantled the drug trafficking organization known as “Stealthgod”.
The crew are accused of using the darknet to make 18,000 sales of methamphetamine and other illegal drugs.
And investigators say those drug deals involved at least 35 states and many countries.
Police seized 120 pounds of methamphetamine, 14 pounds of pills, ecstasy, $ 1 million in cryptocurrency and five guns, according to a Justice Department statement.
Five people living in southern California have been taken into custody.
Meanwhile, Andres Bermudez, 37, of Palmdale is said to be one of the organization’s main suppliers and is said to be considered a fugitive.
Operation DisrupTor is the largest U.S. operation targeting criminal activity on the darknet, particularly opioid trafficking, according to federal authorities.
Investigators say many young drug addicts don’t buy from local dealers, but instead go online and buy from pushers behind anonymization software.
The Department of Justice has described Operation DisrupTor as being of the highest priority.
“These darknet markets have grown in popularity at an alarming rate and allow drug dealers to advertise and take orders openly,” Deputy Attorney General Jeffery Rosen told a press conference. “From anywhere in the world, the darknet invites criminals to our home and provides unlimited access to illegal commerce.”
The Drug Enforcement Administration has stated that many such drugs are arriving in the United States from Mexico.
And the agency has seen an increase in fentanyl-related deaths. According to the DEA, the synthetic opioid is shipped to the United States via the dark web.
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