On September 10, 2020 in Charlotte, NC Anthony Byrnes, 19, was sentenced to 71 months in prison on drug charges, for trafficking narcotics he purchased on the dark web using cryptocurrency.
In addition to the prison term imposed, Anthony was also ordered to serve four years of supervised release. According to the criminal information to which Anthony pleaded guilty, he conspired with a regional drug trafficking organization to distribute narcotics on the Dark Web.
In August 2019, law enforcement intercepted a mail parcel addressed to Anthony containing narcotics. On or about August 7, 2019, law enforcement conducted a controlled delivery of this parcel at Anthony’s Huntersville, NC residence.
Law enforcement observed Anthony gathering the parcel and entering his residence. Subsequently, law enforcement executed a search warrant at the residence and seized numerous narcotics and contraband, including LSD, Psilocin, DMT, MDMA/Ecstasy, among other narcotics and paraphernalia. Law enforcement also recovered two firearms from the residence.
In total, three firearms and approximately $13,800 were recovered from Anthony's residence over the course of the investigation.
Anthony purchased narcotics on the Dark Net Marketplace. Anthony paid for the drugs using Bitcoin cryptocurrency, stored in virtual currency wallets and used Bitcoin ATM machines in the greater Charlotte area to facilitate drug transactions, converting drug proceeds into virtual currency and arranging drug shipments for the drug trafficking organization.