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South Carolina Woman Who Sold Drugs on AlphaBay Sentenced to 15 Years

Women Caught On Dark Web Selling Drugs

AlphaBay Market was among the biggest markets before its seizure by a collaboration of law enforcement agencies in several countries.

Ana Milena Barrero, age 24, was initially apprehended alongside her boyfriend, 28-year-old Theodore Vitaliy Khleborod last year in April, a few months before the fall of AlphaBay Market later in July.[/caption]

During its reign, it was the number one go-to marketplace as the site had built a reputation for itself over years in operation.

It was known for offering quick customer support, a wide range of listings and having multiple payment options since it was the first market to offer alternatives.

These among other reasons make the market dearly missed by those who were very fond of using it to obtain illegal products.

During the seizure and after the fall of the market, several attempts were made by security agencies to try and catch up with those who were involved with the trade.

Even though some were apprehended, the majority of those involved in buying and selling were never arrested and, because of this, they ended up migrating to other darknet markets to continue with their routine.

However, as time goes by, we continue hearing cases where individuals who operated in the marketplace are now getting arrested and prosecuted.

In the most recent instance, a woman living in Greenville, South Carolina was prosecuted after a months-long trial.

Ana Milena Barrero, age 24, was initially apprehended alongside her boyfriend, 28-year-old Theodore Vitaliy Khleborod last year in April, a few months before the fall of AlphaBay Market later in July.

Last October, Khleborod pleaded guilty to one count of drug distribution. A month later, he was found dead in his Spartanburg County jail cell in an apparent suicide.

The trial involving Barrero finally ended this month when she was sentenced to 15 years for selling synthetic opioids on the dark web.

The Culprits, What They Sold and How They Did It

Khleborod and Barrero’s business involved the sale of opioids such as fentanyl and U-47700 (also known as “Pink”).

Depending on the potency and dose, the effects of these drugs on the body as well as the price will vary.

Interested clients would be able to check out their listings on the marketplace and make payments via cryptocurrency, where the most preferred is the Bitcoin.

After that, they would be required to input their drop addresses and the drug would be sent to them using the United States Postal Services, a popular means by which drugs are shipped to and within the U.S.

Police caught up with the culprits after a girl in her late teens was found dead as a result of a drug overdose in their apartment in Oregon.

This further prompted the security personnel to carry out further investigations which revealed the extent to which the couple was involved in the trade.

Investigative Special Agent Paul Criswell from the Department of Homeland Security testified on the situation of the girl which led to the arrest of Khleborod and Barrero.

Khleborod and Barrero’s business involved the sale of opioids such as fentanyl and U-47700 (also known as “Pink”). Depending on the potency and dose, the effects of these drugs on the body as well as the price will vary.[/caption]

While speaking to the mother of the victim, he was told how the girl would order drugs from the internet.

During the investigations, the authorities discovered more drugs and $30,000 in cash within the apartment. All these among others were presented to the jury as evidence for the prosecution of the culprits, and this led to Barrero getting a 15-year jail term.

Also, after an analysis, and records from the Homeland Security database, the security officers found out that Barrero’s boyfriend ordered the Pink drug from China back in late 2016.

In a bid to collect more evidence, Criswell said the use of surveillance cameras showed how Barrero would drop packages that were meant to be shipped to other places.

An analysis of the parcels showed that the address indicated as the origin was fake, but either way, the parcel was confiscated.

In yet another recent saga that happened some weeks back, a former AlphaBay vendor popularly known as Etiking was sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the trafficking of synthetic drugs that led to the death of a 24-year-old.

Then, sometime late last year, an alleged PR specialist of AlphaBay Market was indicted over his role of running the marketplace.

What Are Authorities Doing?

From this, we can note that criminals are getting smarter over time and adopting new methods of dodging arrests and evading prosecution.[/caption]
 
 Law enforcement personnel continue to face an uphill task in their day-to-day operations in curbing the menace that has been brought about by darknet markets and the dark web in general.
 

However, despite all that is being done, illegal drug trafficking continues to be perpetuated online, and no matter how hard as the authorities try, it becomes technically impossible to end the vice.

From this, we can note that criminals are getting smarter over time and adopting new methods of dodging arrests and evading prosecution.

With this in mind, there are those who still do not make calculated moves and take calculated risks, and in the end, they end up leaving traces which in turn gives third parties a clue as to who is involved.
 
The only issue is that it takes time to conduct investigations and gather sufficient evidence that may be used to arrest and further prosecute the culprits.
Some weeks ago, in the U.S., a law enforcement effort dubbed “Operation Disarray” was launched.
 
The operation, which is part of a broader initiative by the Department of Justice, is spearheaded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and brings together other federal agencies—all with a unifying purpose of fighting the opioid menace.
With the help of the U.S. Postal Services, which is often misused by criminals to ship illegal drugs, local authorities and those from other security agencies have been able to carry out searches of parcels which has enabled them to narrow down their investigations.
 

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