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U.S. Court Sentences Dealer Who Sold Drugs for Crypto to Jail

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A drug dealer who was made to surrender the millions of dollars he got in cryptocurrencies has now been sentenced to spend time behind the bar.

According to an announcement from the Department of Justice (DOJ), Sky Justin Gornik, a 39-year-old native of San Diego, California, has pled guilty to dealing in various controlled substances.

Before the long arm of the law caught up with him, Gornik was a frequent dealer on Dark Web marketplaces such as AlphaBay, Trade Route, Abraxas, Evolution, Outlaw Market, and Dream Market. He dealt in fentanyl, carfentanil, and much more, and as most Dark Web drug dealers do, he laundered money through digital assets on cryptocurrency exchanges such as Poloniex and Bittrex.

As part of his plea, Gornik admitted that he bought and sold controlled substances on the Internet from sometime in 20914 to June 2017. While his portfolio of controlled substances was quite extensive, his primary products were fentanyl and carfentanil, which he bought with a wide array of digital assets (including Bitcoin and Monero).

Some of the other products he moved include vials of ketamine, oxycodone pills, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), psilocybin and psilocin, amphetamine, buprenorphine, methamphetamine, and naloxone.

The investigation into Gornik was conducted by U.S. Postal Inspectors in San Diego, with a little help from the special agents at Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). In a raid of his home, feds seized up to 1.7 grams of carfentanil, as well as sheets of fentanyl gelatin tablets. The DOJ report showed that the amount of carfentanil found in his home was enough to kill about 86,000 people.

He was believed to have purchased between 600 and 1,200 fentanyl gel tablets every week over his two years of operation. The DOJ hinted that his supplier was another Dark Web dealer, who was identified as Steven Wallace George. George, who lives in Oklahoma, has already been prosecuted by authorities in his home state after he was found to have been importing pure fentanyl from China and making fentanyl tablets for sale.

While he has already been made to surrender is crypto holdings (worth millions of dollars) to authorities, Gornik will proceed to serve a further 70-month prison sentence for his crimes.

Speaking on the authorities’ efforts to crack down on crime, U.S. Attorney Robert S. Brewer Jr. praised the work of local investigators for their work on “cracking through multiple levels of anonymity mazes to uncover the true nature and extent of Gornik’s drug dealing and money laundering.”

He added, “Dark Web traffickers take note: we will not allow you to lurk in murky corners of the internet, selling and delivering deadly drugs as casually as an Amazon Prime package.”

The case is just the latest in the stream of crypto-related drug dealer busts that have occurred this year alone. While Bitcoin trading and other activities continue to thrive, investigators have had consistent success with cracking down on criminal behavior.

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