In a wave of darkweb illegal business crackdown, a 30 year old man in Michigan has been accused of a serious crime of using “Bitcoin” to purchase guns and their components from an online darkweb site.
Benjamin James Cance is said to have bought the gun by the use of bitcoin.
In addition to carrying out the illegal purchase, the man from Plainwell faces charges for receiving payment in bitcoin to facilitate shipment of the weapons and components overseas, money laundering and being in possession of a machine gun that is not registered.
Cance is accused of using electronic currencies popular known as bitcoin to cover his illegal activities. He laundered the bitcoin profits by buying houses.
These charges were heard by Magistrate Judge Green on 11thJuly and Cance pleaded not guilty of the charges that were read to him.
As a result of this, he was released on a 10,000 bond and is waiting for trial at a future date, though the date has not been formally disclosed.
According to statements from the Department of Justice, the crime of shipping arms overseas is punishable by law by a maximum of 20 years in prison.
In addition to this, money laundering and possession of an unregistered gun carries a jail term of not more than 10 years.
This implies that Cance could face a jail term of around 20 years since he facilitated the shipping of the guns to international destinations.
However, it goes without saying that this is not the first time that bitcoin has been used for online illegal activities.
This case is being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the US Postal Inspection Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Authorities continue to crack down online dark web businesses that involve the use of bitcoin, though this has proved to be quite challenging due to the anonymous nature of the business.
This is made worse by the fact that bitcoin payments are usually untraceable because the verification process involves solving complex algorithms by computers.
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