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Beard-Growing Contest Leads To Bust Of Dark Web Drug Dealer "OxyMonster"

Posted by Steve Karimi | Oct 04, 2017 | 0 Comments

There are many inventions that revolutionize the way that the world works. One of the most recent devices that has changed that way that people do most everything is this internet. The internet, as we know it today, was first introduced in 1991. According to the History Channel, “[t]hat year, a computer programmer in Switzerland named Tim Berners-Lee introduced the World Wide Web: an Internet that was not simply a way to send filed from one place to another but was itself a ‘web' of information that anyone on the Internet could retrieve.” The first web search engine was created in 1992 and called Mosaic. It was later renamed Netscape. Over the years the web has grown and new websites and platforms have developed such as Google, Facebook, and YouTube.

As the internet has grown, it has developed levels. According to Wired, “[l]ike an iceberg, the vast majority of the Internet is obscured from easy view.” Not every webpage can be found using a search engine and “this unindexed section of the Internet is dubbed ‘the Deep Web.'” Just how vast the Deep Web is, is unknown. However, “some dare to put the figure at hundreds of times the size of the visible or ‘surface' Internet.” Much of the content in this part of the Internet is harmless, but, reports Wired, “more and more criminal activity is moving away from the light of day and into the shadowy corners.”

One "shadowy corner" of the Internet is the Dark Web. While some use the terms Deep Web and Dark Web interchangeably, they refer to different things. Unlike the Deep Web, in order to access the Dark Web, users typically need specialized software, like Tor. The Dark Web is the portion of the Internet that is notorious for hosting illegal activities, like drug sales.

However, those who choose to do illegal activities on the Dark Web can and do get caught. Recently, a man by the name of Gal Vallerius was arrested for selling drugs via the Dark Web. The Miami Herald reports that “Vallerius is a modern version of a cartel kingpin, operating anonymously as a lord of the internet's ‘dark web' bazaar where buyers and sellers conduct cocaine, fentanyl, meth, LSD and oxycodone deals in the virtual currency bitcoin.” Vallerius was arrested when he came to the United States to “compete in a world beard-growing championship in Austin.” He was known on the web as “OxyMonster.” Vallerius was an administrator and moderator for the Dream Market, a website “specifically designed to facilitate illegal commerce.” The DEA began looking into the site in January and were eventually able to track down Vallerius. The Herald reports that “Vallerius is soon expected to be transferred to Miami to face a new conspiracy indictment that carries up to life in prison.”

About the Author

Steve Karimi

Steve Karimi attended Pepperdine University School of Law. After graduation he worked as a prosecutor in Seattle where he gained valuable insight to the criminal justice system. Attorney Karimi uses his experiences as a prosecutor everyday only now he fights for the justice of those accused.

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Named a "rising star" in criminal defense by Washington Law and Politics magazine, Mr. Karimi is a former prosecutor for King County who uses his insight into prosecution strategies to protect his clients' rights in criminal court.