Feds Bust Online 'Farmer's Market' for Drugs

'Farmer's Market' storefront matched buyers, sellers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2012 6:07 AM CDT
Feds Bust Online 'Farmer's Market' for Drugs
"Today's action should send a clear message to organizations that are using technology to conduct criminal activity," a DEA spokeswoman said.   (Shutterstock)

Eight people have been arrested and a "Drug Dealing 2.0" operation has been shut down after a global sting operation, reports the LA Times. Prosecutors say the "Farmer's Market" operation sold more than $1 million in LSD, marijuana, and other drugs over three years to buyers in 35 countries, using the TOR anonymizing network to keep the identities of buyers and sellers secure, Wired reports.

Authorities say the suspects matched drug sellers to drug buyers—who paid via Paypal and Western Union—guaranteeing delivery and taking a cut of the proceeds. The alleged ringleader was arrested in the Netherlands, a US citizen was arrested in Colombia, and six suspects were busted in the US. All eight have been charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and money laundering and face up to life in prison if convicted. The indictment doesn't reveal how US authorities managed to get past the technological tools used to shield the operation. (More drug dealing stories.)

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