Crime News Illinois Local News

Dark Web Marketplace Owners Indicted in Illinois for Operating “Empire Market” and Selling $430 Million worth of Contraband Worldwide

Dark Web Marketplace Owners Indicted in Illinois for Operating “Empire Market” and Selling $430 Million worth of Contraband Worldwide

Two individuals have been indicted in federal court in Chicago for their involvement in the operation of “Empire Market,” a clandestine online marketplace that facilitated the anonymous trade of over $430 million worth of illicit products and services across the globe.

Thomas Pavey, also known as “Dopenugget,” and Raheim Hamilton, also known as “Sydney” and “Zero Angel,” were the owners and operators of Empire Market from 2018 to 2020. During this period, they were involved in facilitating around four million transactions between vendors and buyers, with a total value exceeding $430 million.

These details were revealed in a superseding indictment returned on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Pavey and Hamilton have been indicted for allegedly conspiring with others to participate in various illegal activities, including drug trafficking, computer fraud, access device fraud, counterfeiting, and money laundering. The charges in the new indictment carry a potential maximum sentence of life in federal prison.

Pavey and Hamilton have been apprehended by U.S. law enforcement. No arraignments have been scheduled in federal court in Chicago at this time.

California Agent Used to Open Border Gates for Illegal Immigrants and Drug Distribution in San Diego for Money; Caught and Sentenced after Undercover Sting

It has been alleged that Pavey and Hamilton collaborated in promoting and distributing fake U.S. currency on AlphaBay, an underground online marketplace for illegal items that was closed in 2017. According to the indictment, Empire Market was launched on Feb. 1, 2018. Empire Market attracted a large number of vendors and buyers who used a specialized anonymizing software and accessed the site through its unique “.onion” address.

Man Died from Drug Overdose; Ordered from the Dark Web and may have Chinese Origins

An indictment reveals that vendors on Empire Market were involved in the sale of a wide range of illegal goods and services. These included controlled substances like heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and LSD, as well as counterfeit currency and stolen credit card information as per CBS News.

The indictment states that buyers had the option to browse through different categories of available goods and services, such as “Fraud,” “Drugs & Chemicals,” “Counterfeit Items,” and “Software & Malware,” among others. According to the indictment, buyers had the opportunity to assess and evaluate their purchases based on various criteria, such as “stealth,” after conducting transactions using cryptocurrency.

As part of the investigation, federal law enforcement confiscated cryptocurrency worth $75 million at the time, along with cash and precious metals.

California Dark Web Drug Trafficking Member Ends in Prison; Made Pure Meth for Distribution along with Several Narcotics

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *