back to article Alleged dark web drug baron cuffed – after he flew to US for World Beard Championships

A French national and suspected online drug dealer has been collared by US government agents – after he flew to America for the World Beard and Mustache Championships. Gal Vallerius, 38, was arrested on August 31 after he landed in the States to attend the contest. US Drug Enforcement Administration officials searched his …

  1. jake Silver badge

    I believe the word we are all struggling to vocalise is ...

    ... dumbass.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: I believe the word we are all struggling to vocalise is ...

      What sort of idiot takes electronic devices to the USA on a visit these days? Doubly stupid if you have something to hide.

      1. macjules Silver badge

        Re: I believe the word we are all struggling to vocalise is ...

        ".. the use of double exclamation marks, frequent use of quotation marks, and "intermittent French posts."

        Not sure which is worse, the use of double exclamation marks or the intermittent French.

        1. lglethal Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: I believe the word we are all struggling to vocalise is ...

          To Paraphrase Sir Terry:

          Double exclamation marks, the sure sign of a drug dealer's mind... :P

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: I believe the word we are all struggling to vocalise is ...

          intermittent French

          My French is also very intermittent. As in, I have used it in about 10 years. And that was for about the first time in 20 years..

          Do I have to worry too?

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: I believe the word we are all struggling to vocalise is ...

        What sort of idiot takes electronic devices themselves to the USA on a visit these days?

        FTFY

        1. Spacedinvader
          Thumb Up

          Re: I believe the word we are all struggling to vocalise is ...

          Was about to do same. Fellow Commentard didn't disappoint :)

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

            Re: I believe the word we are all struggling to vocalise is ...

            If he was selling to France and the rest of Europe, why the hell did he supply anyone in the US?

            If he hadn't done that he wouldn't have committed a crime in the US (I know this doesn't mean his details wouldn't have been passed back to Interpol etc.)

            edit: after re-reading the article it doesn't state the US investigators ordered anything from this guy at all - so not sure what laws he's broken in the US?

            1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

              Re: I believe the word we are all struggling to vocalise is ...

              I thought same .

              Although he's not *only* a market trader ,

              He's the one who rents the traders their pitches , so i guess thats the link.

              And yeah , idiot to even go to US , doubly so for taking the evidence with him.

            2. katrinab Silver badge

              Re: I believe the word we are all struggling to vocalise is ...

              If you carried $500,000 of dollar or euro bills across the border that you had earned from drug dealing, I think you would be arrested. No reason why bitcoins should be any different.

              1. sisk Silver badge

                Re: I believe the word we are all struggling to vocalise is ...

                If you carried $500,000 of dollar or euro bills across the border that you had earned from drug dealing, I think you would be arrested. No reason why bitcoins should be any different.

                There's no law against carrying large amounts of money. They would have to be able to prove the money was from illegal activities to be able to arrest you, and even then unless you'd violated a law in the jurisdiction you're in at the time there's still nothing they can do about it. No reason why bitcoin should be any different.

                1. big_D Silver badge

                  Re: I believe the word we are all struggling to vocalise is ...

                  You aren't allowed to carry more than 10K into / out of the EU without declaring it and paying tax on it.

                  1. This post has been deleted by its author

                2. handleoclast Silver badge

                  Re: There's no law against carrying large amounts of money.

                  Technically true, even in the US.

                  In practise, untrue, especially in the US.

                  It's called Civil Forfeiture. It's abused heavily from the original intention (essentially it was mainly about confiscating dangerous weapons from hostile enemies in times of war). And abused even more heavily in the way it is currently implemented (especially in the US).

                  It goes like this. Cops pull over somebody for driving while black and come up with an excuse to search the car. Cops find large amount of cash. Cops immediately claim (with no plausible reason) that the cash is from drug deals and apply civil forfeiture. Guy is arrested, eventually ends up in court. Court finds there is no evidence he was ever involved in drug dealing, that the cash came from a totally legitimate source and he had a valid reason for having it on him: case dismissed.

                  And here's the clever bit: he doesn't get the cash back just because he's been exonerated. He has to file a civil suit to plead for his money back. It may be that all the money he has in the world was confiscated so he can't afford a lawyer. Tough titty. If he doesn't manage to prove he ought to have his money back the cops get to keep it (or at least a large percentage of it, with the rest going to fund the legal system as a whole) to buy new police cars 'n' guns 'n' stuff.

                  This is not theoretical. It has happened that way for decades. It still happens. A false anonymous accusation can lead to you losing everything you own. It's happened. More than once.

                  1. G_Axelsson

                    Re: There's no law against carrying large amounts of money.

                    Look up John Oliver's video on youtube on Civil Forfeiture, it's both hilarious and frightening.

            3. NoneSuch
              Coat

              Re: I believe the word we are all struggling to vocalise is ...

              "If he was selling to France and the rest of Europe, why the hell did he supply anyone in the US?

              "If he hadn't done that he wouldn't have committed a crime in the US"

              https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/94-166.pdf

              The fun begins on p52.

              1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
                Alert

                Re: I believe the word we are all struggling to vocalise is ...

                "The fun begins on p52"

                Check this bit out..

                18 U.S.C. §7. Special Maritime and Territorial Jurisdiction of the

                United States

                The term “special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States”, as used in this title,

                includes:

                <snip>

                (4) Any island, rock, or key containing deposits of guano, which may, at the discretion of the

                President, be considered as appertaining to the United States

                So by that logic, as the UK is an island and there is definitely guano here, then at the discretion of the US President he can deem the UK as a US Maritime jurisdiction.

                US Law is a violation of all that is good in this world.

                1. Uffish

                  Re: Guano... at the discretion of the President...

                  Aw come on now, there may be a few things wrong in the US but times have changed, they have chemical fertilizer factories now, and so I really don't think their Presidents are crazy about bird shit any more.

                  Bat shit crazy on the other hand...

        2. sisk Silver badge

          Re: I believe the word we are all struggling to vocalise is ...

          What sort of idiot takes electronic devices themselves to the USA on a visit these days?

          Some of us don't have much choice in the matter, what with living here and all.

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Re: I believe the word we are all struggling to vocalise is ...

            Some of us don't have much choice in the matter, what with living here and all.

            I don't think the applicable word is 'visit' if you're already living there.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I believe the word we are all struggling to vocalise is ...

        Interestingly, I believe you are required by (French) law to surrender encryption keys at the *French* border on the way in...

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: I believe the word we are all struggling to vocalise is ...

          "surrender encryption keys at the *French* border on the way in"

          He should have surrendered his on the way out.

          1. CraPo

            Re: I believe the word we are all struggling to vocalise is ...

            Should have just surrendered (and eaten cheese)

          2. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Facepalm

            He should have surrendered his on the way out.

            He clearly surrendered his brain somewhere.

        2. Uffish

          Re: required by (French) law

          Have you ever crossed the French border? No, I thought not, otherwise you wouldn't post such a stupid remark.

          And no, I wouldn't care if French law actually did include something like you mention, in reality France is a free country - you know, freedom as in feel free, have a nice time, don't be an uncivilized, not the "American" freedom which means 'we reserve the right to shoot you, it is our manifest destiny'.

        3. ritey

          Re: I believe the word we are all struggling to vocalise is ...

          If he'd have surrendered his double exclamation marks on the way out he would be in the clear.

      4. Just Enough

        Re: I believe the word we are all struggling to vocalise is ...

        "Doubly stupid if you have something to hide."

        Triply stupid if you're doing it for a beard competition.

        - "Nice beard you got there, bud"

        - "Thanks. Yours too. Not as nice as his, though"

        - "Yeah, his is bushier. Give him a prize."

      5. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: I believe the word we are all struggling to vocalise is ...

        What sort of idiot takes electronic devices to the USA on a visit these days?

        Someone so confident that he is really, really clever and won't ever be caught..

        After all, he's got a business to run! He's really just an small-scale entrepaneur. Honest!

  2. ravenviz Silver badge

    Tell you what, this would make an excellent movie.

    1. BongoJoe

      These competitions could only be improved if they all arrived clean shaven and then locked in a room with no food and water (but only CCTV) and then told to grow the best beard before being released.

      That would sort out no end of social problems and clear the streets of a vast amount of knobheads.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Watch out, you're going to get a lot of down votes from people with sleeve tatoos and ripped jeans (again). Or is the retro vinyl shop open now, where they will be paying £30 for a piece of reproduction audio equipment that you can get the original for 50p from a car boot sale.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Watch out, you're going to get a lot of down votes from people with sleeve tatoos and ripped jeans

          It's also going to get votes from people who have beards and have done for a long time (early 90's in my case).

          After all, why scrape your facial hair off? It hurts (even with a properly stropped cut-throat razor or one of those fancy multi-blade razors with 'built in lubricant'.). It's not the first one that hurts - it's all the subsequent ones.

          And don't get me started on electric shavers - the only time I've ever had ingrowing facial hair (which hurts - a lot) was when I tried using an electric.

          After that, I decided that facial hair was the way to go. It gets strimmed once a month or so to keep it short and vaguely presentable.

          1. handleoclast Silver badge

            Re: beards

            @CrazyOldCatMan

            You waste your time strimming yours?

            For many decades I resented the time and pain involved in shaving. In the two weeks' holiday around Xmas I luxuriated in not shaving. Until about the 12th or 13th day when the nascent beard started to itch intolerably. One year I figured out why it itched, persisted a few extra days and entered hirsute nirvana.

            Having saved all that time and pain, I have no intention of investing extra time to keep it short and vaguely presentable. Plus there's another advantage: with a longer beard you no longer have to wear a tie.

            The only disadvantage is chatting up women in the pub and persuading them that there's a velcro effect that means they won't have to clasp my head during cunnilingus. Later they kick me in the nuts because there's no such effect. You win some, you lose some.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Low hanging fruit

    This sounds like something they give to agents on their 1st day

  4. koswix

    Clearly a naughty boy, but what part of US law covers the sale and distribution of substances in Europe?

    1. vir
      Coat

      Possibly the evidence found on his laptop identified him as the actual provider of the samples purchased by US agents or maybe they found evidence of intent to distribute in the US.

      Either way, he's really in a hairy situation now.

      1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
        Boffin

        "Either way, he's really in a hairy situation now."

        <puts on sunglasses>

        YEAAAAAHHHHH!

        (Old meme is old, I know.)

        1. Patrick R
          Pint

          Aside of the beard, .....what really knocked him out was his cheap sunglasses.

    2. Youngone Silver badge

      Yes, clearly a naughty boy, but I'm thinking the G men will need more evidence than what's in the article, it all sounds pretty thin to me.

      Not that a lack of evidence will keep him out of jail.

    3. M man

      As an admin, Might be facilitation.

      and that can be trumped up to equal to each offence comitted.....

      v. bad.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      As far as the USof

      A is concerned, ANY law they so choose.

    5. sisk Silver badge

      Clearly a naughty boy, but what part of US law covers the sale and distribution of substances in Europe?

      You clearly don't understand how US law works. It's basically impossible to get through a day without unknowingly committing a felony in the US. They've got an excuse to arrest anyone they damn well please here. Though, to be fair, most of those offenses would likely get thrown out via jury nullification.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    United States of Arrest

    Mon dieu!

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: United States of Arrest

      "United States of Arrest"

      Ooh - I'm having that!

    2. Aodhhan Bronze badge

      Re: United States of Arrest

      Yep...

      The people who enforce the laws in the USA actually do their job of finding and prosecuting criminals.

      They don't just collect a paycheck from tax payers. Unique, eh?

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: United States of Arrest

        actually do their job of finding and prosecuting criminals.

        Yeah. After all, it's perfectly fine to shoot someone convicted of walking while black..

        (For the avoidance of doubt, I know this also happenes elsewhere. It's just a lot more prevalent in the US)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: United States of Arrest

          Not that you are likely to be shot at all, but you are more likely to be shot if you are white. However, that doesn't fit the narrative of the media that wants to push.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: United States of Arrest

          it's perfectly fine to shoot someone convicted of walking while black..

          (For the avoidance of doubt, I know this also happenes elsewhere. It's just a lot more prevalent in the US)

          like in Africa, you mean surely?

  6. llaryllama

    It just goes to show...

    In these kinds of situations you must stash your computer before travelling.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: It just goes to show...

      Or have another for travelling

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And the moral of the story is... Don't go to America.

    1. mics39
      Holmes

      And the moral of the story is... Don't go to America.

      He must not have been a regular El Reg comments reader.

  8. TsVk!

    never would have won the comp anyway...

    shooting out of his league again.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    With a beard like that

    he's obviously a no-good troublemaker who ought to be locked up.

  10. DougS Silver badge

    So the proof he's their guy is possession of PGP private keys?

    It will be interesting to see how that holds up in court. I think we all know the reasoning is sound, but I'd expect his lawyer to request a jury trial and try to confuse a technologically clueless jury with alternative explanations for why he was found in possession of that key.

    1. rmason Silver badge

      Re: So the proof he's their guy is possession of PGP private keys?

      private keys that only the user could reasonably have.

      ....and half a million in BTC

      ..and test purchases made by US fuzz.

      Yeah. Flimsy as fuck.

      If that's all there you can guarantee there is absolute cast iron proof on that laptop. He's clearly the type of "techie" who thinks that tor = security.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: So the proof he's their guy is possession of PGP private keys?

        Nothing in the article says any test purchases were made from this guy.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So the proof he's their guy is possession of PGP private keys?

          Nothing in the article says any test purchases were made from this guy.

          True. However ..

          for the past year and a half, agents in the Sunshine State have been buying small quantities of drugs from the Dream Market, including 100 tabs of LSD, 11 tablets of hydrocodone and 28 grams of crystal meth.

          Having established themselves as legit buyers on Dream Market, the g-men dug deeper and identified OxyMonster as a site kingpin.

          In other words, the purchases were not directly from this guy, but they have established that the guy was certainly actively involved in the mechanics of this online market. Hence his arrest.

          You can also see that expressed in the "probably cause" part of the filed PDF (page 4, points 6 & 7).

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: So the proof he's their guy is possession of PGP private keys?

            Apologies, I mean "probable" cause. That wasn't auto-incorrect, but muscle memory override :).

  11. Ambivalous Crowboard

    inb4

    Feds: "OxyMonster is coming to the US for the beard expo. Detain him; you moustache him some questions."

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: inb4

      Goatee the airport now.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: inb4

        It's a bald-faced lie I tell you!

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: inb4

      I bet the airport was bristling with the fuzz

  12. Barry Rueger Silver badge

    One more reason to avoid the US

    OK, the guy was an idiot, and not just for the hipster beard, but,

    The indictment claimed Vallerius and OxyMonster both made repeated use of the word the word "cheers," the use of double exclamation marks, frequent use of quotation marks, and "intermittent French posts."

    That is genuinely terrifying, and would apply to probably 25% of all Internet users. At least the British ones.

    Quotation marks now brand you as a criminal.

    1. Salestard

      Re: One more reason to avoid the US

      So I can breathe easy because I never double exclamation marks, only ever use ' and not ", and intermittently post in German because my French is so dire it would make Arthur Bostrom wince.

      Anyway, I thought murica automatically shot any foreigners with beards?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: One more reason to avoid the US

        Anyway, I thought murica automatically shot any foreigners with beards?

        Only if they're dressed up in bedsheets, and on the other side of the world.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One more reason to avoid the US

      Quotation marks now brand you as a criminal.

      Let's wait and see. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I would assume that the indictment presumably contains the reasons that the Feds believe there is a case to answer, and doesn't contain the detailed evidence that will form the basis of prosecution?

      What we can see from the press reports of the indictment is that they've got reasonable grounds for believing he's been up to no good, and now they're chucking that to a court to decide. You can argue whether the court will give him a fair hearing separately, but procedurally this doesn't look unreasonable?

    3. Weiss_von_Nichts

      Re: One more reason to avoid the US

      Quotation marks now brand you as a "criminal".

      FTFY

    4. Joe Gurman

      Re: One more reason to avoid the US

      Really? French posts? I guess the French must have bigger posts.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oxymonster ?

    Oxymoron.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PGP crypto keys..

    okay, let me check here... he had Bitcoin client installed. he had Tor installed. so far that now blankets a lot of users who may use crypto currency and want anonymous web browsing. nothing here.

    he had the PGP crypto keys for OxyMonster - right, WHAT keys, just the public key? (which he'd have installed if he ever had dealings as a user/customer of OxyMonster rather than actually being a dealer)

    or did he have the private key as well . (and now being in USA he will have to provide the secret passphrase for that key or face even longer jail time).

    either way.....I'm wondering what laptop to take next time I travel..probably a brand new one with no useful/usual software installed as it its all 'used by criminals' (github, gpg, ssh, bitcoin, Tor, vpnc, ) :(

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: PGP crypto keys..

      I'm wondering what laptop to take next time I travel..probably a brand new one with no useful/usual software installed as it its all 'used by criminals' (github, gpg, ssh, bitcoin, Tor, vpnc, )

      At the rate this is going I'd recommend an etch-a-sketch.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: PGP crypto keys..

        IIRC, a device with a fingerprint scanner is a lot safer as you cannot be forced to unlock the device.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: PGP crypto keys..

          IIRC, a device with a fingerprint scanner is a lot safer as you cannot be forced to unlock the device.

          1 - I'm not sure that is true. I know a PIN is protected, but FPs?

          2 - you're there, and so is the device. It's easy to bring both together

          3 - the FP readers on most devices suck badly, and that includes the one on iPhones. You have a shiny device which happily stores the required fingerprints for you, and it takes not that much effort to cook a fake finger from that so I don't think that's safe at all.

          Ideally I'd like to have a device that still asks for a PIN or password after an FP, so that it either takes two passwords (as FP backup) or one FP plust maybe a shorter password to enter the device.

          1. Strahd Ivarius

            Re: PGP crypto keys..

            in the USA you are compelled to use a FP if asked for by the authorities since it is not covered by the 5th amendment...

            the difference with a PIN is that a PIN is something you know, when a fingerprint is something you are.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: PGP crypto keys..

              Ahh, so I had it mixed up, you CAN be forced to unlock using you fingerprint but cannot be compelled to divulge a pin/password. Is that correct?

          2. sisk Silver badge

            Re: PGP crypto keys..

            IIRC, a device with a fingerprint scanner is a lot safer as you cannot be forced to unlock the device.

            Fingerprint readers are stupid easy to defeat. I mean they weren't exactly difficult to get around to begin with, and then the Mythbusters went and did a bit on them and showed the whole world multiple ways to fool them in the process. And this is the Mythbusters. Yeah, they're smart guys, but they're not exactly security experts. If they could do it with minimal effort how long do you think it's going to take someone who's job description includes knowing how to defeat security measures?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: PGP crypto keys..

              Fingerprint readers are stupid easy to defeat.

              Not all of them. The difference is simple: the really good ones cost a lot more. For starters, a good FP reader tends to be in ridge format so you wipe out a residual print by default, but then there's method of pickup, resolution, the software behind it and the resulting repeatability versus tolerance, it's a long list.

              That said, in the above situation you have no need for defeat activity, you have the actual human right there.

          3. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: PGP crypto keys..

            " I'd like to have a device that still asks for a PIN or password after an FP, "

            Android phones require a password at poweron, or if you miss the fingerprint reader and tap the "lock" icon. They can also be set to require a password if left unattended "too long"

        2. coolbeans2021

          Re: PGP crypto keys..

          You get fingerprinted, they can open it! Hell, 3 years ago it was shown how the hi pixel pics taken by today's cameras produced a fingerprint from someone at 30 feet away that could be used to bypass a fingerprint scanner!!!! No sh*t!!!!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: PGP crypto keys..

            Yes, that was quite impressive. However, a good quality fingerprint reader won't be defeated that way - the main reason most devices use a low quality reader is because those are a lot cheaper and a failure to grant access is still deemed more of a concern than a failure to prevent unauthorised access.

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: PGP crypto keys..

            "hi pixel pics taken by today's cameras produced a fingerprint from someone at 30 feet away"

            time for vein pattern scanners instead?

          3. Uffish

            Re: "3 years ago it was shown how... pics taken by today's cameras "

            Forget the pics of fingerprints - get me the photos of the sports results and stock prices in three years time.

    2. sisk Silver badge

      Re: PGP crypto keys..

      I think it's a safe assumption that he had the private key. Despite rumors to the contrary the US authorities do know the difference. But aside from that I would imagine that they found BitCoin wallets known to belong to OxyMonster. You can rest assured that the brief summary of evidence in this article is far from a complete list of what they had against him.

    3. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: PGP crypto keys..

      either way.....I'm wondering what laptop to take next time I travel.

      None.

      If you go there on business, you get the receiving party to provide you with one. If it's a private visit just ask your friends/family over there to scrounge a not-too-shabby one off Craigslist/Cash Converters/charity shop/thrift store for the time you need it, after which they can sell it off (if they don't have a spare one around you can use).

  15. Naselus

    Major kingpin

    With 60 sales of Oxycontin and Ritalin. Presumably in the same way that a 16 year old selling individual cigarettes in the school yard is a 'major international tobacco distributor'.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Major kingpin

      Well there was also lots and lots of money. Admittedly only Bitcoin, so the first few are worth a lot, but if you try and sell more than a few in a day you'll probably crash the price.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Evidence, he says "cheers" uses double exclamation marks and "quotation" marks. Not really hard evidence, but enough to indicate they should probably look into him.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Distributing drugs from France to anywhere in Europe?

    So extradition back to France or..?

    1. rmason Silver badge

      Re: Distributing drugs from France to anywhere in Europe?

      It's not stated but (being online) one would assume the test purchases made by five-oh included delivery to the states.

      It would be quite unlikely that in his 500k+ in transactions one or two weren't to the states.

      They had all the evidence they needed to have a strong look at him, his own stupidity will provide them everything else they need going forwards. He walked into the country carrying it all, because he's an idiot who (like most criminals) think they are the smart type, that won't get caught.

      He had, after all, done everything all the YouTube videos and forum posts told him to, he used TOR, with a VPN, and crypto currency. Without once grasping that the devices you use to do such things are the single point of failure, in terms of his privacy/ability to keep crime private.

      He had half a million in play money, the absolute spanner could definitely pick up a laptop and phone when he landed.

      That's what I'd do and i'm *not* a criminal, i'm a boring middle aged random man who just thinks that it would be preferable to not spend the extra hour or two having everything checked.

      I'm not someone raking in hundreds of thousands on some silk-road style amazon for drugs and the like. I'm just someone who would prefer to minimise time spent in an airport.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Distributing drugs from France to anywhere in Europe?

        That's what I'd do and i'm *not* a criminal, i'm a boring middle aged random man who just thinks that it would be preferable to not spend the extra hour or two having everything checked. I'm not someone raking in hundreds of thousands on some silk-road style amazon for drugs and the like. I'm just someone who would prefer to minimise time spent in an airport.

        Select your preferred response below:

        1) He doth protest too much, methinks.

        2) That's what they all say.

        3) Tell that to the judge.

        4) No smoke without fire.

        5) Book him, Danno

  18. Potemkine! Silver badge

    What a disappointment

    And I thought the US what the country of Capitalism and Free Enterprise... La barbe!

  19. BeakUpBottom

    The way I read it they nabbed him for his administrative and enabling involvement in Dream Market, and the rest of it is just their proof that the market sells drugs, presumably with some vendors offering to US clients.

    Interesting they didn't try and get the gendarmes to do this with a bit of help from Interpol?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Interesting they didn't try and get the gendarmes to do this with a bit of help from Interpol?"

      No promotions available for that although, to be fair, they might not have expected him to tote all the evidence around on a laptop for the gendarmes to find.

  20. Nick Z

    USA has one highest incarceration rates in the world

    Going to USA is like going to the prison capital of the world. Because they imprison more people per capita than virtually any other country in the world.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/uk/06/prisons/html/nn2page1.stm

    This isn't well-known in western countries, who are friendly with USA. This is like a blind spot for westerners and even for people who live in USA. Which isn't surprising.

    It's a lot easier to focus your attention on the faults of your rivals and enemies, than look at yourself and your friends with a critical eye.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: USA has one highest incarceration rates in the world

      It's easily solved.

      MORE GUNS!

      Love, the NRA

    2. sisk Silver badge

      Re: USA has one highest incarceration rates in the world

      This isn't well-known in western countries, who are friendly with USA. This is like a blind spot for westerners and even for people who live in USA. Which isn't surprising.

      Americans are well aware that we have more prisoners per capita than any other nation. The problem is that half the country doesn't recognize that as a problem and think we should be locking up even more "criminals". But to be fair most of our prisoners are in for drug offenses, so staying out of jail in America is as simple as not doing drugs (which, admittedly, is easier said than done for an addict). Our authorities simply refuse to recognize any other way of dealing with drug epidemics. A whole lot of them, when you point to countries that have successfully dealt with the problem, will say something ignorant about "dirty socialists".

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: USA has one highest incarceration rates in the world

        "But to be fair most of our prisoners are in for drug offenses, so staying out of jail in America is as simple as not doing drugs"

        There's far more to it than that. Private prisons have resulted in judges taking kickbacks to sentence more heavily and be more inclined to find guilt in a non-jury trial, and the constant violation of the 15th amendment by (mostly) southern states means that they can (and have) systematically disenfranchised the poor and the non-white by increased targetting for enforcement actions. Drug usage is about the same across all racial groups, but black men account for the vast majority of those imprisoned for such offences and the fact that they have a criminal record disallows them from voting.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    $500,000 of Bitcoins

    All else fails they are likely to get him on this one.

    https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/195/kw/Amount%20of%20money%20allowed

    It's how flexible this is regard Bitcoin.

    What constitutes as "Negotiable Monetary Instruments" for currency reporting requirements?

    "Coin or currency from the U.S. and/or other countries, including gold coins"

  22. Aodhhan Bronze badge

    SMH

    The charge stems from the fact he owns, moderates, and provides a web site known to be used to sell drugs in the USA. If amazon.com sold drugs illegally, Mr. Bezos will be put behind bars.

    You don't have to do the selling yourself; the fact you create an application which automatically does this, or create a site for the express purpose of selling illegal drugs is going to get you into trouble.

  23. earl grey Silver badge
    FAIL

    repeated use of the word the word "cheers,"

    And here i thought that said repeated use of the word the word "cheese," a-la Wallace and Grommit. Now i'm disappointed.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    First actual use of Bitcoin Cash?

    I thought Bitcoin Cash was just another sideshow scam. Amazing to see it being used by professionals.

    1. Joe Gurman

      Re: First actual use of Bitcoin Cash?

      Is it impossible for BC to be both a sideshow scam and (its principle use) a vehicle for criminals to stash their cash?

  25. coolbeans2021

    WoW

    Never ever ever ever ever take a connecting flight thru the states! Land of the free NOT!!!!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    well crap.

    Cheers!! Bonjour!!

    see y'all in the Big House!

  27. HieronymusBloggs Silver badge
    Joke

    What an idiot

    He should have hidden the laptop in his beard.

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