A French citizen, who served at times as a web administrator and as a senior moderator for a mega-sized dark web criminal marketplace entered a guilt plea to the felony charges of criminal conspiracy to possession with intent to sell controlled substances as per the nation's Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and conspiracy to launder money.
Thirty-six-year-old Gal Vallerius, aka “Oxymonster,” pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Robert N. Scola Jr. of the Southern District of Florida.
According to the court record, beginning in the Fall of 2013, an Internet marketplace known as Dream Market began operating on the Tor “dark web” criminal network. Dream Market was designed to promote and facilitate the anonymous sale of illegal items.
In time, the Dream Market website became one of the biggest dark web marketplaces for the sale of illegal contraband including prescription painkillers. All of the sale items on Dream Market are offered for the exchange for Bitcoin and other Internet cryptocurrencies.
According to special agents from both the FBI and DEA, Vallerius originally participated in the conspiracy as an independent vendor on Dream Market. As the vendor, he sold Oxycodone and Ritalin under the moniker “Oxymonster.” It wasn’t long before the owners of Dream Market hired the defendant to work for them as an online administrator and senior moderator. In these positions, he played a primary role supporting the daily illicit transactions between buyers and vendors on Dream Market, such as the trafficking in narcotics, and the laundering of illicit proceeds using virtual currencies, Dream Market’s tumblers and the dark web.
Vallerius is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Scola on Sept. 25, 2018 at 8:30 a.m.
This Dark Web investigation and prosecution was conducted by a multi-agency task force known as the South Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force. The South Florida HIDTA, was created in 1990, by President George H.W. Bush and was and continues to be made up of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies that target the identified drug trafficking and money laundering organizations in the region.
The South Florida HIDTA is funded by the Office of National Drug Control Policy which sponsors a variety of initiatives focused on combating the nation’s illicit drug trafficking threats.
“The prosecution is a result of the ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The OCDETF mission is to identify, investigate, and prosecute high-level members of drug trafficking enterprises, bringing together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state, and local law enforcement,” according to a statement released by the U.S. Department of Justice.