Computer Criminal Faces 20 Years for Drug Dealing

SAN DIEGO (CN) — The CEO of Canada-based Phantom Secure faces up to 20 years in prison and must forfeit more than $80 million for conspiring to use encrypted devices to distribute more than 450 kilos of cocaine, and other illegal drugs around the world.

Vincent Ramos, of Richmond, British Columbia, pleaded guilty Tuesday to RICO conspiracy charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

“In his plea agreement, Ramos admitted that he and his co-conspirators facilitated the distribution of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine to locations around the world including in the United States, Australia, Mexico, Canada, Thailand and Europe by supplying narcotics traffickers with Phantom Secure encrypted communications devices designed to thwart law enforcement,” prosecutors said in a statement.

“Ramos admitted that at least 450 kilograms of cocaine were distributed using Phantom Secure devices.” He also agreed to forfeit at least $80 million, plus “tens of millions of dollars in identified assets, ranging from bank accounts worldwide, to houses, to a Lamborghini, to cryptocurrency accounts, to gold coins,” according to the U.S. attorney. “In addition, Ramos agreed to forfeit the server licenses and over 150 domains which were being used to operate the infrastructure of the Phantom Secure network, enabling it to send and receive encrypted messages for criminals.”

He will be sentenced on Dec. 17.

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