One wouldn’t normally associate darknet usage with strengthening family ties. For a team of two US-based drug dealers, that situation is a bit different. This father-son team successfully sold drugs over the darknet for an extended period of time. Both family members will now serve five years in federal prison for their misconduct.
A Family-Oriented Drug Operation
As more and more people try to score some quick money, illegal and criminal operations become all the more important. This is part of what makes the darknet so appealing to those who want to make some money through less than normal means. For the father-son darknet drug dealer team active on AlphaBay before it was shut down in June 2017, their reign has come to an abrupt end.
Philip and Michael Luciano both operated under the username Zane61 on AlphaBay. This infamous darknet marketplace quickly rose to the top in the past few years prior to being shut down by law enforcement officials. Ever since then, the Justice Department has been trying to identify some of the more active vendors on this platform. The username Zane61 is just one of many investigations pertaining to this platform at this time. It is very likely other former AlphaBay users will find themselves in court over the coming months.
What made this username so interesting to law enforcement officials is how it garnered a lot of positive reviews for sold products. Zane61 was an active vendor oxycodone, butyryl and fentanyl. These are all forbidden substances which are quite common on darknet marketplaces right now. Both father and son Luciano pleaded guilty to these charges, and will now serve five years in federal prison because of their drug-related activities.
To make matters worse, the products sold by Zane61 have led to at least one overdose. An unnamed customer of this darknet vendor overdosed on the supply bought from this team in 2015. Although the person in question did not die from doing so, the Lucianos were still intent on selling drugs to this client. This is while knowing all too well that individual already overdosed once on their goods. A clear intent to do harm, by the look of things.
As one would come to expect, the Zane61 vendor account on AlphaBay collected a decent amount of Bitcoin by selling these drugs to clients. As part of their arrest, the Lucianos are forced to forfeit 2.5 Bitcoin and nearly $16,00 in cash. It is a bit unclear how much they made from their darknet sales in total, although it is only normal all of the proceeds are forfeited in the process.
Although this particular case represents just a small drop in the ocean compared to overall drug sales on the darknet, it further shows US law enforcement agents will continue to pursue this matter. Bringing darknet sales to an end will probably never happen, but the pressure needs to be kept on vendors and buyers alike. When AlphaBay was shut down, a lot of valuable information has been obtained in the process. It now seems those details are finally put to use to get offenders convicted.