A dark web drug dealer was arrested by US authorities on 20 March for allegedly selling a high-strength synthetic opioid called fentanyl on a popular underground marketplace called AlphaBay. Chukwuemeka Okparaeke, who went by the name "Fentmaster" on AlphaBay, has been charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute large quantities of fentanyl, according to the US Justice Department.
Ironically, the dark web drug dealer was caught not because authorities linked him to his Fentmaster persona on the dark web; instead he was spotted for his "suspicious" behaviour at the post office. Okparaeke allegedly wore latex gloves while making his deliveries at the post office, which roused officials suspicions.
Fentanyl is believed to be 50 times stronger than heroin and according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), the drug caused nearly 10,000 deaths in America in 2015, The Register reported.
Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: "The defendant's alleged scheme combined one of the gravest current threats to public health – highly addictive and potentially lethal opioids – with a very modern criminal tool – the darknet. Okparaeke allegedly sold fentanyl-like controlled substances through an online black market to conceal the nature of the transactions and his identity."
Okparaeke also failed to clear out his browser history, which helped investigators connect him to a Reddit post where he allegedly boasted about his exploits as a dark web drug vendor and "also posted a short story detailing his criminal activities and his success at evading law enforcement".
Okparaeke was arrested in Kearny, New Jersey and is potentially facing a sentence of 10 years life in prison for charges related to selling drugs.