Heroin Sold Online, DEA Says in Bust

     FRESNO, Calif. (CN) — Federal prosecutors in California accused two Brooklyn men of selling heroin and cocaine on one of the world’s largest dark web marketplaces.
     Abudullah Almashwali and Chaudhry Ahmad Farooq used the aliases Area51 and DarkApollo to deal the drugs, according to the indictment and an affidavit from a DEA agent.
     Almashwali, 31, a Yemeni national, and Farooq, 24, a Pakistani national, were criminally charged Thursday with conspiracy and distributing heroin and cocaine.
     They used the dark marketplace AlphaBay to advertise and sell drugs, according to the court documents.
     Dark web marketplaces are operated on computer networks that conceal the IP address of the computers on the network. They allow payments to be made only in the form of digital currency, most commonly Bitcoin.
     DarkApollo sold approximately 610 grams of heroin and 25 grams of cocaine on AlphaBay, making $139,000, while Area51 sold 810 grams of heroin and 47 grams of cocaine, according to the affidavit.
     They received payment in Bitcoin and mailed the drugs from post offices in New York to customers throughout the United States, the DEA agent said.
     Law enforcement officers tracked them down by making two undercover purchases of heroin on AlphaBay and tracing postal records. The officers determined that the encrypted email address used by Area51 and DarkApollo was associated with Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts used by Farooq.
     If convicted, the men face 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

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