Justice announces feds seized 270 kilos of opioid drugs in two-year, darknet 'Operation DisrupTor'

The operation fought to stop global dark web criminal activity pertaining to drug deals

Updated: September 22, 2020 - 4:52pm

The Justice Department on Tuesday announced the seizure of over 270 kilograms of drugs including methamphetamine and lethal fentanyl in what the agency calls the U.S. government's largest operation targeting criminal activity on the darknet, particularly opioid trafficking.

“The Department of Justice cannot and will not allow criminals like this to operate with impunity. There will be no safe haven for drug dealing in cyberspace,” Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said at a news conference about the initiative known as "Operation DisrupTor."

Rosen said roughly 70 kilograms of fentanyl and 96 kilograms of methamphetamine were seized along with more than $6.5 million in cash and virtual currency. The sting also resulted in the arrest of 179 buyers and sellers, federal officials said.

Drug overdoses have recently increased and are now among the leading causes of death for Americans under 50. People can increasingly and more readily obtain illegal drugs over the internet, instead of buying from local sellers. This allows the sellers to reach more people and hide behind a computer screen in countries around the world. 

Operation DisrupTor was coordinated by the Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement team ,also known as J-CODE,” FBI Director Christopher Ray said. He also said that the FBI initiative began in 2018 to target criminal activity on the darknet, especially the trafficking of fentanyl and other opioids.

“Operations like DisrupTor illustrate how J-CODE is making a real difference in our cities and towns across the country and around the world,” Ray said. 

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