The internet has no doubt revolutionized the way we communicate. It has also increased the allure of committing a crime.
This is how Zhe Wang, a former University of Buffalo engineering student, found himself committing offenses he’d never imagined.
How you ask?
Zhe Wang had used the dark web, a collection of internet websites that are encrypted, to purchase drugs, and then sold most of it to make a profit. When the authorities aren’t watching, anything goes on the dark web.
From selling stolen data to drug trafficking, the dark web has become a breeding ground for criminals.
But how do they conduct the transactions undetected? Bitcoins are the primary currency used on the sites. Bitcoin is a form of digital currency that is not regulated by any authority.
You buy bitcoins of a particular value and use them for transactions. Although bitcoin is not intended to be used for crime, the anonymity it gives continues to make it a favorite among criminals.
Last year, in 2015, Zhe Wang had purchased Xanax worth about seventy-four thousand dollars in bitcoins from an online marketplace on the dark web.
He intended to resell the control substance to earn a good profit. Xanax is a tranquilizer commonly prescribed for anxiety and panic attacks.
It causes the user to have a feeling of relaxation. When used together with alcohol, it increases the effects of alcohol causing the user to get “high” faster. It is a very addictive drug.
The high rates of substance abuse in campuses makes the sale of Xanax a very profitable trade.
Could the high number of Xanax users on campus have pushed Zhe Wang’s decision to sell the drug?
Zhe Wang, a 20-year-old Queens resident, was born in China but moved to the United States with his parents at the age of four. He was one of the three individuals held in custody.
He pleaded guilty to two federal counts in Buffalo Federal Court. Wang admitted to charges leveled against him of conspiracy to distribute controlled substance and money laundering.
When asked by US District Judge Richard J. Arcara how he got involved in something like this, he answered, “I ask myself the same question every day.”