Another day, another guilty plea involving the dark web in the United States. Sky Justin Gornik will face at least a decade up to life behind bars in a federal penitentiary after pleading guilty following convictions for drug dealing and laundering proceeds from a crime.
Gornik set up vendor accounts to sell drugs on dark web marketplaces AlphaBay, Trade Route, Abraxas, Evolution, Outlaw Market and Dream Market. This is a case regarding a drug dealer who chose the dark web as their business foundation. It is a case that is likely to guide many other judges as they decide on sentencing those caught. Precedent is being set.
As this was a federal case, and it’s likely that the investigation and subsequent prosecution was as a result of the Federal Bureau of Investigations’ big push this year to hit drug dealers that use the dark web.
About the Case
Gornik admitted he purchased the illicit substances using resources on the dark web, then reselling through the usual marketplaces, having set up and run multiple vendor accounts.
It is unquestionable that the “86,000 fatal doses worth” figure was used by the prosecution team to drill home the continued rhetoric in its never ending “War on Drugs.”
The opioid crisis is often targeted towards those using illicit substances, and stories such as this one fuel the fire directly.
But the reality is that an 86,000 fatal dose might equate to 100,000 therapeutic doses (as an example and for illustrative purposes only). There is little factual purpose for using such language other than to elicit shock.
Carfentanil is 10,000 times more powerful than morphine and 100 times more potent than its natural analogue, fentanyl. In a Department of Justice press release, U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman stated that “a speck of carfentanil the size of a grain of sand” is enough to kill the person using the drug.
Synthetic drugs that mimic that of their analogue parents have swept across Australia, the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom. Chinese vendors openly sell carfentanil online and export worldwide.
It is a cat and mouse game with border watchers and health regulators, as even the slightest chemical differences can make dangerous drugs that don’t fit into regulation. Carfentanil is only one of multiple versions of the opiate fentanyl.
U.S. Justice System & the Dark Web
The U.S. justice system is not tipped in the balance of those that are within the sights of any political agendas.
Ross Ulbricht, founder of the infamous Silk Road darknet market, discovered this the hard way years back and continues to suffer as a result, as we discovered from an interview with his mom last month.
Gornik committed serious crimes and by no means is he an innocent person, but politics should never be mixed with law: that is the reason we in western democracies have the separation of powers in government. Yet, it seems that the book is always thrown at anyone facing charges relating to anything “dark web.”
There is a serious fear issue with the people at the top. A fear in what they don’t understand. It’s a core reason incredibly strict sentences are laid on the people caught.
Experian recently ran a full advertising campaign scaring people into forking over their information.
It’s without doubt that each and every case regarding a drug dealer that uses the dark web as their medium is targeted by prosecution teams with pressure from above. Pressure to act tough and forward the State agenda would be substantial.
As par of his guilty plea, Gornik agreed to forfeit millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies earned through his drug sales. It is clear he was caught red-handed and he has rolled over for the prosecutors. It’s said that he forfeited 69 Bitcoins, among additional alt-coins.
His sentencing comes in June 2018. We’ll keep you updated.