The Justice Department on Tuesday announced 288 arrests made in an international operation targeting the trafficking of fentanyl and opioids on the dark web.
“The Justice Department is cracking down on criminal cryptocurrency transactions and the online criminal marketplaces that enable them,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in remarks.
The DOJ’s Joint Criminal Opioid and Darknet Enforcement (JCODE) team’s Operation SpecTor, which began in October 2021, also conducted seizures of 117 firearms, 850 kilograms of drugs and $53.4 million in cash and virtual currencies, according to the department.
“This represents the most funds seized and the highest number of arrests in any coordinated international action led by the Justice Department against drug traffickers on the dark web,” Garland said.
The JCODE operation “was a coordinated international effort spanning three continents to disrupt fentanyl and opioid trafficking on the darknet, or dark web,” the DOJ said, and it was conducted in the U.S., Europe and South America in conjunction with foreign law enforcement.
Of the 288 arrests, 153 defendants were arrested in the U.S., the attorney general said. More than 200,000 pills and 104 illegal guns were also seized in the country.
“Our message to criminals on the dark web is this: You can try to hide in the furthest reaches of the internet, but the Justice Department will find you and hold you accountable for your crimes,” Garland said.
Source: The Hill
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