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Arizona Law Enforcement Agencies Organize a Dark Web Task Force

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ByContent

Jul 14, 2023
Arizona law enforcement forms Dark Web task force

The investigation team will consist of detectives from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, according to an announcement from the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona.

From 2017, detectives from these agencies have allegedly collaborated in investigations against dark web drug sellers. Some of the vendors busted as a result of the investigations include:

Iceman21

Iceman21, a vendor, sold heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine on numerous dark web markets, including AlphaBay, Hansa, and Dream Market, from at least 2015 to 2017.

Silvester Ruelas, Kevin Dean McCoy, Amber Nicole Worrell, and Peggy V. Gomez were identified and arrested as a result of the vendor’s inquiries.  

The offenders pled guilty to laundering cash and conspiracy for the sale of prohibited narcotics. A judge condemned McCoy to 15 years in jail, Ruelas to 20 years, Worrell to ten years, and Gomez to five years. Liliana Sibirian Gomez, the fifth defendant in the case, pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute dangerous narcotics. She received a two-year jail term. 


PillPlugPaul

The detectives discovered Michael Brian Cummings was supplying oxycodone pills using the PillPlugPaul vendor account on Dark Market after completing covert buys from the seller’s account. Cummings entered a guilty plea to possess with intent to distribute. On July 31, 2023, he will be sentenced.

The DNMDCC Task Force plans to pool more resources and focus on people who utilize the darknet and cryptocurrencies for illegal operations such as drug trafficking, money laundering, fraud, and child exploitation.