David Trail was convicted 18 months after his home was raided in November 2014. Topix2 has been one among the darknet markets functioning much like an eBay for criminals.
Topix2 advertised different types of Diazepam which is a controlled but legal prescription drug.
The site also advertised nice-tasting Valium manufactured in the UK with added perks of next-day free delivery to clients that ordered the drug.
He was charging around GBP 60 for 100 pills. However, all the transactions were carried out using Bitcoins.
David Trail, an IT specialist, was arrested when his home was raided as part of the worldwide bust of darknet markets (Operation Onymous) that came up after Silk Road was shut down in the year 2013.
This operation was conducted as a joint effort of the police from Germany, Scotland, and England, together with FBI from the US.
About 400 darknet markets were raided as part of the operation, and Topix2 was one among them.
After the raid, the specialists from the Scotland Cybercrime Unit were quoted as saying that Trail had one of the most advanced computer systems in Scotland much like that of Sheldon Cooper in the “Big Bang Theory.”
Even the keyboard that he used had no markings and was custom-built.
It started when the Scottish police were given a lead by the West Hesse Police, the FBI and National Crime Agency of UK.
With FBI giving out IP addresses of visitors to darknet markets in the month of August 2014, David Trail was soon identified as the admin of a site hosted in Germany by the Narcotics Squad of Hesse.
Trail was identified as the owner and operator of Topix2, one of the darknet markets.
This one was a typically hidden website that could be accessed only using Tor.
Topix2 was a marketplace that enabled its clients to buy and sell drugs anonymously.
The early tip was helpful in aborting Trail’s foray into organized and serious crime, added Inspector Brian Stuart.
The operations that were conducted were a combination of both modern and traditional policing methods.
Subsequently, when Trail’s home was searched in Scotland’s Watson Crescent on 6thNovember 2014, the raid yielded a sizeable supply of over 200 pills of Diazepam, bags, and stamps, and postal receipts that indicated dispatch of the drugs to European destinations as far off as Austria.
The former employer of Trail, Scotweb, received a list of stolen credit card details from an anonymous sender in May 2014. This incident went unreported to the police. However, Scotweb was fined GBP 1,000 by a bank at a later point in time for the breach of data.
The bank had incurred thousands of pounds as the cost to repair the security that was breached. The list of credit cards that were stolen and their three-digit security codes surfaced when Trail’s home was raided.
Trail’s stealing data from his former employer Scotweb only reinforced the fact that it was not easy for anyone to evolve as criminals using the internet and darknet markets and remain hidden from law.
Trail has pleaded guilty to two charges soon after receiving the plea agreement. The sentencing for David Trail is awaited next month.
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