UPDATED 9:19 AM — Wed. June 27, 2018
With many mysteries still surrounding the dark web, officials are beginning take action to stop those who are selling illicit goods on the internet.
On Tuesday, federal authorities ended a year-long investigation into the depths of the dark net, concluding the first nationwide undercover operation into the illegal activities of vendors.
The operation resulted in the arrest of more than 35 vendors with 70 search warrants. This led to the seizure of illegal narcotics, including cocaine, LSD, marijuana and MDMA.
Additionally, more than 100 firearms were confiscated as well as more than $3.5 million in U.S. currency and gold bars. Another $20 million in Bitcoin and other crytocurrencies were also confiscated.
Officials acted as money launders on dark sites. They then exchanged U.S. currency for virtual currency, which enabled authorities to identify vendors of illicit goods and allowed them to launch the investigation.
The effort was made possible by the Department of Justice, Homeland Security, Secret Service, DEA and the Postal Inspection Service.
Although the investigation was successful, officials still have much more work to do before they are able to understand the depths and mysteries of the dark web.