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Leader of darknet international drug trafficking organization sentenced to prison in Denver

October 3, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Leader of darknet international drug trafficking organization sentenced to prison in Denver

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The 25-year-old head of an international drug trafficking network was sentenced to prison time in Denver late last month.

Filip Lucian Simion was ordered to serve 11 years behind bars for conspiracy to import controlled substances and money laundering, ABC7 Denver reported.

The judge also rules a personal money judgment against Simion for $850,000.

Authorities in the U.S. and Europe teamed up to dismantle the ItalianMafiaBrussels Drug Trafficking Organization and ended up arresting ten suspects during early morning bust in Bruges, Belgium, and the surrounding areas.

The investigation, which lasted from 2013 until 2016, indicated that the members of the drug organization imported kilos-worth of ecstasy into the U.S. via mail from multiple countries in Europe.

The organization was managed online as the Darknet vendor “ItalianMafiaBrussels” or “IMB.” It used encrypted email and TOR-based black markets — such as the now-defunct Silk Road to distribute the drugs, primarily to consumers in the U.S. and Canada who paid with bitcoin.

“The Darknet is a rapidly evolving network that enhances the ability of criminal organizations to move illicit goods worldwide,” Steve Cagen, special agent in charge for Homeland Security in Denver, stated. “The anonymity it provides, coupled with cryptocurrencies to launder proceeds made this a complicated investigation.”

Several individuals were charged and found guilty in the District of Colorado for dealing the MDMA that came from the organization in 2014 and 2016.

Simion was identified as the head of the enterprise.

He was taken into custody alongside Leonardo Cristea in Bucharest, Romania in May 2016, before being extradited to the District of Columbia.

Simion and Cristea, along with several others, were charged with conspiring to distribute and import drugs into the U.S. They were also charged with additional counts of importation of controlled substances and aiding and abetting.

Simion was facing several counts of distributing of controlled substances through the Internet and conspiring to commit money laundering.

He took a plea deal in April to one count of conspiring to import into controlled substances into the U.S., and one count of conspiring to commit money laundering.

“Let there be no mistake — as the internet has grown, so has the arm of the law,” U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer said in a statement. “If you’re harming people in Colorado, no distance is safe. We will find you, we will bring you here, and send you to federal prison.”

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