Photo Credit To VIP Crypto Signals Via Flickr
A drug dealer who peddled fentanyl in the US has been sentenced to 70 months in jail. Justin Gornik, 39, a resident of San Diego, admitted to the charges. He said that from 2014 to June 7, 2017, when authorities arrested him, he bought and sold illegal drugs via the Dark Web. The drug dealer utilized various screen names to visit different marketplaces on the Dark Web such as Trade Route, Alpha Bay, and Evolution, Dream Market, and Outlaw Market. Here, he bought and sold various opiates using crypto coins. Besides that, he admitted to having sold other substances including DMT, oxycodone, ketamine, Psilocin, Psilocybin, Naloxone, and Methamphetamine
Growing National Crisis
The National Institute of Drug Abuse says that deaths due to overdose have doubled in the last decade. When looking back further, the numbers have quadrupled since 1999. It is estimated that in 2017, 70,237 people died due to overdoses. This is up from 16,849 that died of the same in 1999. Out of the 70,232 deaths, about 28,466 were a result of fentanyl, the rest were mainly due to heroin and opioids.
When Gornik was arrested, he was in possession of carfentanil, which is a particularly lethal opioid. It is estimated to be 10,000 times more powerful than morphine and 100 times more powerful than fentanyl. According to the Attorney’s office, the 1.722 gram of the substance that Gronik was caught with had the potential to kill over 86,000 people.
Gornik also had fentanyl gelatin tablets in his possession, which he bought at 600 to 1200 a week for two years from Steven Wallace George, a Dark Web vendor. The source of George’s fentanyl was China. He was prosecuted in Oklahoma for the offense.
When Gornik was caught, he willingly forfeited millions of dollars of cryptocurrencies that included Stratis, Bitcoin, 2350 Monero, and Ethereum. During his arrest, there were crypto coins held in his poloniex and Bittrex accounts. He admitted that the coins were proceeds of crime.
Bittrex Recent Woes
The Bittrex exchange was recently forced to pull out of New York after it was unable to obtain the BitLicense from the NYDFS. According to the New York regulator, this was because the exchange could not rectify issues that the regulator had outlined.
About the Poloniex Exchange
The Poloniex exchange is a trading platform created by Circle, which is a crypto investment and services platform. Circle’s CEO often complains that crypto regulation in the US is too heavy-handed. Circle was forced to let go of 30 US employees recently due to restrictive laws that limit their activities. Aside from the drug smuggling event that occurred, this isn’t the first stressful event that has occurred this year. If we go back to June of this year, Poloniex also dealt with the event of 1,800 BTC getting lost through a flash crash.
Gornik’s Sentencing and the Implications for Crypto
The Trump administration is not a fan of crypto. It has been going after crypto criminals quite aggressively. Thus, it is quite surprising that Gornik got a sentence of just 70 months. The crimes he was accused of usually come with a sentence of at least 10 years and a maximum $1 million fine. However, his sentencing is not good for the crypto world. It adds fuel to the fire of crypto detractors who believe criminals and crypto are intertwined.