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US couple must forfeit their cryptocurrency riches after being caught running dark web drug ring

Bitcoin prison

A California-based couple will have to forfeit their cryptocurrency riches after pleading guilty to running a dark web drug operation ring.

Jabari Monson, 32, of Merced, California pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute controlled substances.

Saudia Monson, 39, also of Merced, pleaded guilty to a violation of the Travel Act, after using the mail and internet to distribute controlled substances, said US Attorney McGregor W. Scott.

Court documents show that from July 2018 until January this year, the couple ran several vendor accounts on Dream Market – a dark web marketplace – through which they sold cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana.

As part of their plea agreement, the defendants agreed to forfeit an undisclosed amount of cryptocurrency, which included Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.

Jabari is looking at a maximum statutory penalty of 40 years in prison, a mandatory minimum of five years behind bars, and a hefty $5 million fine.

Saudia, on the other hand, faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Both defendants are due to be sentenced by US District Judge John A. Mendez on November 19.

Published August 7, 2019 — 08:04 UTC