A six-month federal investigation in Colorado led to the arrest of Paul Carlos Moseley, 31, for allegedly dealing drugs through various darknet markets. Investigators reportedly purchased LSD, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine from the man.
The investigation involved the use of classic surveillance tactics, undercover purchases, fingerprint analysis, and casually referenced GPS trackers. Court documents lacked information regarding the start of the investigation (i.e., the investigators did not document—or release documents—that revealed why federal investigators had targeted Moseley instead of any number of darknet vendors). That same question, though, is applicable to nearly any darknet vendor’s arrest. Non-fentanyl vendors, that is.
Moseley could have been the target of one of the many ongoing investigations into darknet vendors selling opioids. He allegedly distributed heroin. Investigators have more frequently targeted fentanyl dealers, but no vendor is necessarily out of the scope of any investigation. He could have been targeted “randomly” after a package seizure or series of package seizures.
In October 2017, an undercover federal agent ordered 50 clonazepam pills and two grams of heroin from Moseley. Moseley, investigators said, gave the undercover investigator the tracking number of the package he had shipped. United States Postal Inspection Service reviewed footage at a Post Office in Denver and spotted Moseley buying the postage for said package at one of the automated units where customers can buy stamps without approaching the postal workers at the counter.
Federal authorities made numerous buys from Moseley, court documents revealed. They connected the tracking numbers to the postage and the postage to the video feed taken whenever a customer uses the Post Office’s automated postage system. They had several recorded videos of Moseley buying postage for packages that matched the postage on packages received by the undercover investigators. Investigators also examined the received packages for fingerprints and successfully lifted Moseley’s prints off at least one package.
The GPS trackers placed on the suspected drug dealer’s BMW and Lexus must have simply been intended to place him at the Post Office in the times and dates investigators had accused him of being at the Post Office. Aside from that, the GPS trackers seemingly played an insignificant role in the investigation. His face on the camera and fingerprints on packages more than provided the police with enough evidence for an arrest.
And following one final undercover purchase of 14 grams of heroin and one gram of methamphetamine in late April, Colorado police made their move. They arrested Moseley and charged him with drug trafficking, conspiracy drug crimes, and using a communications device while committing a felony. He will first appear in court on May 18.