Ryan Farace, aka Xanaxman, is currently serving a 57 months prison sentence, he has been recently indicted for laundering $137 million in Bitcoin from Dark web drugs.
According to unsealed Maryland federal court indictment last week, Farace, was aided by his father Joseph Farace, and he might have continued his illegal drug dealing operations from prison and laundered the hefty sum between October 2019 and April 2021.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration seized 2,875 Bitcoins in February and another 59 Bitcoins in May from addresses linked to Farace. At the current market rate, the combined value of the seized Bitcoins is more than $137 million.
Farace is serving prison time for selling Alprazolam, a form of strong anxiety drug Xanax, on the dark web. Additionally, he was taking payments in cryptocurrencies.
According to the November 2018 court order, Farace was ordered to forfeit around 4,000 Bitcoins, which he earned from his illegal business of selling drugs. That amount of Bitcoins is now worth $187.2 million. In addition to the cryptos, he had to hand over $5.6 million in cash and property, which he obtained from the proceeds of his illegal drug business.
However, the fresh court documents did not specify if the enforcement agency already knew about the freshly seized Bitcoins or if this was acquired by Farace while he was in prison.
The use of cryptocurrencies in dark web operations has always been a concern for the authorities. It was one of the arguments presented by the governments to counter the adoption of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
One of the largest Bitcoin busts from the dark web was from the shutdown of in-famous The Silk Road in 2013, which was one of the largest illegal marketplaces for the distribution of drugs. Chainalysis, a blockchain analysis platform, revealed in a report that around $800 million in cryptocurrencies were moved to the dark web operations only in 2019.