Anthony Murino, a 45-year-old man from Staten Island in New York, has been arrested for allegedly trafficking fentanyl he purchased through the dark web. He had been working as a city firefighter, known by many for his excellent behavior.
Murino is said to have bought the deadly fentanyl from dark web markets. He allegedly used the United States Postal Service to deliver the drugs to customers. Little did he know that investigations were underway to pin down the delivery of the drug after it was discovered by local postal workers.
According to the police officers who arrested Murino, he has never been apprehended for such charges before. The case was even more complicated as no one, including his neighbors and family members, knew him to be a drug dealer.
This aspect of Murino’s case is all too common among other dark web-related drug arrests. Most dark web users buy drugs and other illegal items thinking they are wholly immune to arrest by the police officers. In the process, they keep their activities hidden even from close friends and family members.
The process of buying drugs from dark web starts from a personal decision and quest to be anonymous in the dealing. The software used to access and operate on the dark web is designed to conceal users’ identity and location. As such, this avenue for drug dealing is highly attractive.
The Tor browser, the program that allows access to dark web platforms, is not solely used by drug dealers. It has helped many users across the world access sites that have been blocked by censorship initiated under oppressive regimes.
Tor also helps users navigate the internet (both the dark web and the standard web) without any fear of surveillance by law enforcement or ISPs (Internet Service Providers).
But, the use of the Tor browser alone does not adequately guarantee complete anonymity, as many security experts advise. It is recommended that if one requires an assured kind of anonymity, the use of a Virtual Private Network is required. This creates another layer of encryption if it is used in conjunction with the Tor browser in accessing dark web sites.
Although the Tor browser—which is considered as a sort of gateway to the dark web—is used for purposes that aren’t all nefarious, it also offers hackers and other cybercriminals a perfect hub to conduct business.
Drug dealers and hackers operate in various dark web markets and forums, communicating with their clients without fear of intimidation or being watched. On the dark web, users can buy drugs, weapons, stolen identities and even stolen artwork.
The mode of supply greatly depends on the distance between the vendor and the buyer. National postal services are used to transport the tangible goods from one place to another, oblivious of what’s inside the package.
Recently, a lot of online drug traffickers who use postal services to smuggle drugs have been busted by law enforcement.
In this case, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Department of Homeland Security and the Drug Enforcement Agency have all led the investigation and arrest against Murino.
According to the police officers who were directly involved in Murino’s arrest, he had provided postal addresses which led them to his location. Since he thought no one would ever intercept the drugs in his delivery, he was tricked until the fentanyl supply was delivered to his home.
Fentanyl is regarded to be more dangerous than same amount of heroin. The physical resemblance of fentanyl with heroin makes it confused by many drug consumers. This is why fatal overdoses involving fentanyl are on the rise.
The recent spike in fatal opioid overdoses has called on the intervention of the U.S. government, where severe punishment by the law is imposed if one is caught in possession of fentanyl.
Presently, it is not clear if Murino had bought his fentanyl supply with the intent to sell it or use it for his own personal consumption. Regardless, an Eastern District of New York judge ordered Murino to participate in an opioid rehabilitation program in Pennsylvania until his next court appearance.
Murino is now facing charges which may see him imprisoned for many years due to the nature of the case.
Murino has not yet commented on the case, which leaves observers to speculate and analyze the case as it is. Until the final investigation is done to determine the details of how and why Murino bought fentanyl on the dark web, he will have to remain in close watch after he completes his rehab treatment.
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