5.6.18 Darknet and Cybercrime Roundup
Dread has Relaunched
Not long ago, DeepDotWeb wrote about an incident between the creator of the Dread and the staff at Olympus market that abruptly ended Dread’s status as a Reddit replacement. The Dread owner, HugBunter, later told DeepDotWeb that a new version of the site was already in the works. Towards the end of the month of May, that new version of Dread publicly launched with a list of new features. The list is far too long to post here, but the original article contains the statement from HugBunter and list of new features.
One of the most obvious changes is the redesign. Dread is no longer dark. HugBunter allegedly coded the second Dread from only five percent of the original code. Many new features allow a more Reddit-like experience. The site is now mobile friendly, too. Read the full announcement here.
USPS Employee Admits Being Dream Vendor “DoggFood”
In a Baltimore federal court, a now-former USPS employee admitted that he had been selling drugs on the Dream market under the username “DoggFood.” Cory Nicholas Skinner, 32, said that he had worked as both a USPS employee and a drug dealer simultaneously. The United States Postal Inspection Service announced the guilty plea.
DoggFood, at one point, had a Dream vendor account with overwhelmingly positive reviews. The account listed heroin and cocaine. The most recent reviews, though, complained about undelivered packages. After intercepting roughly 20 packages that Skinner had mailed, postal inspectors had quickly learned that the packages had been coming from DoggFood. The customers with undelivered packages had no idea the Postal Inspection Service had seized the packages. After some undercover purchases and the usual groundwork, investigators connected DoggFood to Skinner and made the arrest.
Skinner now sits on a mandatory minimum of five years in prison. His sentencing hearing will take place on August 13.
Slovakian Man Busted for Ordering 970 Ecstasy Pills
A 31-year-old from a town in Northern Slovakia ordered a total of 970 ecstasy pills from an unknown darknet vendor, a press release from Slovakian authorities explained. Local authorities arrested the man after he had picked up three packages from the post office in Dunajska Streda.
The arrest involved Criminal Police and Financial Police. The information released by Slovakian authorities was far from descriptive. However, the release indicated that the package seizures were not the result of random fortune by postal employees or customs. The man had been redistricting the ecstasy through unknown channels. He may have been selling them locally, but the number of pills received matched quantities often purchased by darknet vendors for resale in smaller quantities.
Four Ecstasy Vendors Arrested in the Netherlands
The Dutch National Public Prosecution Service announced four arrests in connection to an ongoing investigation ecstasy trafficking at a large scale. More specifically, the police arrested four men for selling ecstasy pills on the darknet. The announcement explained that PostNL had discovered a massive number of outbound packages in August 2017 that eventually led the investigators to the four suspects.
Three account used to connect with customers on the darknet was “temporarily suspended,” the announcement noted. Authorities charged the men with the production and distribution of numerous drugs but focused primarily on the large-scale ecstasy operation the men had been running for at least one year.
Virginia Nurse Practitioner Admits Drug Trafficking Scheme
A nurse practitioner who moonlighted as a drug dealer capable of writing prescriptions admitted committing a series of crimes connected to an operation the NP had been running for years. The NP, Matthew Justin Sykes, had worked at drug detox and rehabilitation facilities since 2012. While working as a NP, Sykes could write prescriptions for the patients withdrawing from opioids or attempting to avoid opioid use. To legally write prescriptions, NPs usually need an agreement with the supervising physician. Sykes prescribed exactly what the supervising physician wanted: buprenorphine. However, instead of the patient’s usual dose, Sykes added one extra dose to the prescription and kept it for himself. He sold the extras on the side.
Last year, an employee with the United States Postal Service intercepted a package of drugs addressed to Sykes. Investigators discovered that Sykes had been buying Adderall from vendors on the darknet and reselling it locally. At a federal court, Sykes admitted writing illegal prescriptions and ordering drugs from the darknet.