Illicit activities, such as drug distribution, are difficult to trace on the dark web due to its encrypted browsers and onion routing. However, it’s far from impossible. Government agencies, such as the FBI, possess the capabilities to detect activities within this hidden corner of the internet.
Dark web as a hub for modern drug distribution
The dark web’s perceived safety, provided by layers of anonymity, often lures individuals into transactions involving controlled substances. Presently, over 50 illicit drug marketplaces operate on the dark web.
Yet, government agencies have people actively monitoring nefarious actors on the dark web. They utilize advanced technological tools to identify patterns and relationships in online data, which facilitates the tracking of illegal activities.
Even though the dark web offers a high degree of anonymity, it does not guarantee complete protection from discovery.
Understanding the risks of using the dark web
While browsing the dark web is not illegal, doing so while on the government’s watch list poses an enormous risk.
Individuals already under suspicion for drug distribution may be subject to targeted investigations. Offline activities such as shipping and money withdrawal, which are necessary for completing transactions, could offer revealing clues about the perpetrator’s identity or location. It’s due to overlaps like this between the online and real worlds, that the FBI was able to capture counterfeit Xanax dealers in Maryland in 2018.
A single mistake on the dark web may give the FBI an opportunity to make an arrest. Distributing or selling controlled substances carries severe penalties, including potential imprisonment of up to 20 years, fines of up to $25,000, or both. Surpassing certain thresholds in drug quantity can lead to volume dealer charges, resulting in even harsher penalties.
Any illusion of safety surrounding dark web transactions can quickly disappear the moment the authorities knock on your door. The government may have been following you for a while, building a case against you. Such situations may call for an aggressive legal defense.