Breaking news! The Department of Justice (DOJ) has just announced the largest coordinated international action against drug traffickers on the dark web, leading to a record-breaking 288 arrests, $53.4 million in cash and digital currencies seized, and 117 illegal firearms confiscated. The operation, known as Joint Criminal Opioid and Darknet Enforcement’s (JCODE’s) Operation SpecTor, targeted those suspected of selling fentanyl and opioid drugs online, with some of the traffickers linked to violent Mexican drug cartels.
Law enforcement agencies from the United States, Europe, and South America have made a historic international drug bust that targeted fentanyl and opioid traffickers on the dark web. In a coordinated effort known as Operation SpecTor, the DOJ arrested 288 suspects, seized 117 illegal firearms, 850 kilograms of drugs, including 54 kilograms of fentanyl, and confiscated $53.4 million in cash and digital currencies. This operation is the most extensive and successful international enforcement action ever taken against darknet drug traffickers.
The Justice Department stated that the operation was conducted across three continents and is a significant blow to the illegal drug trade on the dark web. Officials say that the number of arrests and seizures exceeded those of any previous JCODE operation, and this was an unprecedented international enforcement operation.
In the United States, 153 arrests were made, and over 200,000 pills were seized, including those containing fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid responsible for a growing number of overdose deaths. The officials also seized 104 illegal guns and disrupted a significant number of drug trafficking organizations operating on the dark web.
Attorney General Merrick Garland praised the coordinated international law enforcement effort, stating that it 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’s message to criminals on the dark web was clear: the Justice Department will find you, and you will be held accountable for your crimes.
Deputy FBI Director Paul Abbate emphasized that the dark web is not just a marketplace for illegal and dangerous drugs but also for almost every kind of criminal product or service, from stolen online credentials to child sexual abuse material, fraudulent passports, IDs, computer hacking tools, and much more.
Although the operation was a significant success, Garland acknowledged that any disruption of crime after a major law enforcement action can be temporary as criminals reorganize, and there is a whack-a-mole problem with criminal activities on the internet. However, the Justice Department remains committed to disrupting and dismantling drug trafficking organizations and illicit activities on the dark web.
The operation targeted those suspected of selling drugs online, including counterfeit oxycodone medications containing fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid. The drugs, in many cases, were bought and sold using cryptocurrency. Some of the traffickers were linked to violent Mexican drug cartels, including the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels, officials said.
The Joint Criminal Opioid and Darknet Enforcement’s Operation SpecTor was a coordinated international law enforcement effort that successfully disrupted drug trafficking on the dark web. The operation’s results were 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. The DOJ message to criminals on the dark web is clear: the Justice Department will find you, and you will be held accountable for your crimes. Stay informed about the latest breaking news by following Next News.
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