Bitcoin was used for selling drugs

A Texas court has recently sentenced an Iraqi immigrant to 30 years in prison for using bitcoin and the darkweb for drug selling.

No more Bitcoin, Ethereum or drugs for Mohammed Alaa Allawi.

According to a court press release, he sold 245 kilograms of fentanyl, oxycodone, cocaine, methamphetamine, etc. He allegedly distributed over 850,000 pills on the dark web and took payments with different cryptocurrencies.

The court release also stated that Allawi ran a drug enterprise from Texas. Eventually, one US Marine Corporal died from his drugs. 

The accused pleaded guilty to the charges. And admitted that he distributed the pills on the dark web’s site “AlphaBay”. He accepted payment in seven different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Authorities also confiscated his Texas home, sports car, jewelry, and over $50,000 in crypto.

First of its kind trial

United States authorities have described Allawi’s prosecution as the first of its kind. This is because it involved the darknet, narcotics, and cryptocurrency.

In the press release, DEA Special Agent, Will Gaspy, described Allawi’s actions as callous. His use of the darknet to procure pill presses, secretly manufacturing pills laced with fentanyl shows how he operated his drug ring. He further emphasized the need to use Allawi’s case to send a message to others practicing this act.

The DEA investigation into Allawi began when enforcement noticed an increase in the number of prescription pills in San Antonio at the University of Texas (UTSA). His arrest took place in 2017 along with seven other people. Two are currently prison with five awaiting judgment.

Defense attorney, Anthony Cantrell, said Allawi didn’t know how hazardous fentanyl is. He’s remorseful and has accepted the consequences of his actions.

US attorney John F Bash believes the sentence is in order. He said it will dissuade others from embarking on such a journey.

Due to the privacy feature of cryptocurrencies, many unscrupulous individuals have turned to it to carry out nefarious acts. In July, German authorities took down a dark web marketplace known as the Chemical revolution. In July 2018, an online gambling site for world cup bets in China was also discovered and closed.


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