French national Gal Vallerius aka Oxymonster was sentenced to 240 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances.
According to the Department of Justice's Office of Public Affairs press release, Vallerius was as an administrator and a senior moderator of Dream Market, one of the largest dark web marketplaces.
The Dream Market went online around November 2013 on the TOR “dark web” network, and it was created to make it easier to anonymously buy illegal items and services in exchange of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Oxymonster started his Dream Market career as a simple vendor of Oxycodone and Ritalin, soon after being employed by the dark web illegal marketplace founders as a senior moderator and website admin.
While performing these two roles, Vallerius had a crucial role in the daily illegal transactions going on between buyers and vendors on the Dream Market, with narcotics trafficking and money laundering using cryptocurrencies being some of the product and services exchanged.
Dark web marketplace admin gets arrested after going to the US for beard contest, sentenced to 20 years behind bars
Oxymonster was arrested in the Atlanta International Airport on August 31 on a distribution complaint filed in the Miami federal court after he decided to go on his first trip to the United States to take part in The World Beard and Moustache Championships.
After getting arrested, US authorities found a laptop which confirmed his "Oxymonster" Dream Market identity which was still listed as a vendor of OxyContin and Ritalin on the dark web marketplace.
Furthermore, $500,000 worth of Bitcoin was found on Vallerius, and the French national also forfeited 121.94805811 bitcoin cash and 99.98947177 bitcoin after pleading guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Robert N. Scola Jr. in the Southern District of Florida on August 28.
Gal Vallerius' investigation and prosecution was a joint operation of the South Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force and the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), with fourteen other US and international law enforcing agencies also being involved in the investigation.
Vallerius is not the first dark web marketplace admin facing the law in the US, given that Irish man, Gary Davis aka Libertas, a former Silk Road site admin and forum moderator also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics.
Gary Davis's plea should bring him a maximum of 20 years of time behind bars according to a US Department of Justice press release published on October 5.