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21.7.18 Darknet and Cybercrime Roundup

Supreme Court Refuses to Review Ross Ulbricht’s Case

The Supreme Court recently made an unsurprising decision regarding the direction of one of the lengthiest darknet cases to date: they denied Ross Ulbricht’s petition to have the Supreme Court review his case. This decision, while not unexpected, forces Ulbricht’s defense team to find yet another way to get a court to even consider reevaluating the life imprisonment handed to Ulbricht for running the Silk Road darknet market.

Every time Ulbricht has appeared in court, the court has denied his appeal. And, for the most part, not due to poor judgement; instead, nothing the defense has brought to the table has led a court to believe that the sentencing judge had sentenced Ulbricht incorrectly or illegally. For instance, the defense has argued that the government had violated Ulbricht’s rights during the investigation and arrest. Recent court rulings have indicated—in cases similar to Ulbricht’s—there government had not violated any rights. And just like that, appeal loses its validity. Even after other setbacks, the defense has not stopped fighting for Ulbricht’s freedom. They will undoubtedly continue even now.

Raleigh: Three Brothers Charged for Manufacturing and Distributing Xanax

A Xanax-pressing trio from Raleigh did much more than just press Xanax, Raleigh police revealed. After police in Raleigh, North Carolina, had arrested two brothers for alprazolam possession and distribution, the public learned that the duo’s crimes had connections to the darknet. The police now, after arresting another brother of the first two suspects, have revealed that the group had allegedly sold on the darknet and locally.

But, the police said, the alleged dealers also purchased powdered alprazolam and pill binders to create “Xanax” bars from one of the brother’s apartments. And when the alleged dealers ran out of product and needed to quickly re-up, they took to the darknet and purchased pressed “Xanax” from other darknet vendors. Ultimately, the police explained, the urgent need to re-up led to recklessness and then to an undercover purchase executed at the perfect time. The police had inside help, though; they reportedly received information from a confidential informant who knew the specific details of the trio’s operation.

Another Man Sentenced in the Staufen Abuse Case

The Staufen abuse case be—a child abuse case that caught media attention after the police busted Tabooless Chat staff—has almost ended. Although the mother of the child “prostituted” to pedophiles on the darknet has not yet been sentenced, many of the defendants have been sentenced to minimum sentences of eight years in prison. The court most recently sentenced a 44-year-old man to eight years imprisonment for abusing a nine-year-old boy on several occasions.

According to information revealed in the court, the man had reached out to a pedophile on Tabooless Chat who had been allowing other pedophiles to rape her son. The woman’s partner—a formerly convicted child abuser—also helped others rape the boy for as little as 50 euros. Both the mother and her partner have yet to be sentenced.

Two Arrested for Selling Kilograms of Synthetic Cannabinoids Online

Jonathan Riendeau and Jade Plante, according Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, sold more than a million dollars of synthetic cannabinoids over the internet. The duo already imported raw chemicals from China, sprayed them on dried plant matter, and then sold ”smokable” blends that consisted of a variety of synthetic cannabinoids on plants such as damania or similarly inert plants with buds.

The New York Police Department launched the investigation after the duo’s online “spice” shops became a “threat to public health and safety.” Some users ended up in the hospital for panic attacks or vomiting, the Attorney’s Office press release stated.

Pedophile “Stumbled” onto Child Porn Site while Searching for Drugs

An alleged pedophile had downloaded and watched child abuse videos he had found on the darknet, Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard. However, unlike the majority of cases with “darknet” and “pedophile” in the title, the defendant argued that he head been using the darknet to purchase drugs – not download child pornography.

Tony Martin Douglas Croes, 26, made the usual argument that he, instead of a pedophile, was a drug user. He told the court that his friend head told him he could find drugs in the darknet. As a self-described darknet ameteur, Croes said that he had accidentally found a child abuse website and then, by pure misfortune on Croes’ behalf, the site head downloaded 104 Category C child abuse pictures and videos. The court reserved judgement for a later hearing.

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