The alleged leader of a darknet drug trafficking group has been extradited from Romania to Denver, to face multiple criminal charges. The alleged leader of the drug ring is suspected to be the brains behind the darknet vendor “ItalianMafiaBrussels”.
Filip Lucian Simion, a 23-year-old man was extradited from Romania to Denver, Colorado to face charges of drug trafficking and money laundering, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.
Simion was arrested along with nine other defendants during a joint U.S./European law enforcement operation in the early hours of May 3, 2016. Simultaneous arrests were conducted in Bucharest, Romania and Bruges, Belgium, dismantling the darknet vendor group.
Sold on Silk Road for Bitcoin
The arrests and extradition followed an investigation that began in July 2013. Investigators ascertained that Darknet vendor “ItalianMafiaBrusselss” (IMB) had used encrypted email and online darknet markets including now-defunct Silk Road and Silk Road 2.0. The drug sold was MDMA or Ecstasy, primarily to customers in the United States and Canada.
The vendor only accepted payments in bitcoin.
Subsequently, the investigation resulted in seizures of several kilograms of the drug, which was allegedly sold to customers in Denver through the mail.
Simion was indicted in May 2016, along with three others, for money laundering and importation of controlled substances. Ecstasy is determined as a Schedule I controlled substance.
Leonardo Cristea, a 25-year-old co-defendant was previously extradited from Romania in July 2016. If convicted, both Simion and Cirstea face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
Meanwhile, the most notable darknet story of them all, Silk Road, still finds legs in the form of an appeal that founder Ross Ulbricht’s lawyers hope to pursue. The much-publicized tale of rags-to-riches wealth that saw a cocktail of technology, drugs, corrupt cops, faked murders and more, is now being adapted for a Hollywood thriller courtesy of popular and acclaimed filmmakers, the Coen brothers.
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