Los Angeles, CA–Three German nationals face federal charges of money laundering and drug distribution in Los Angeles after authorities say they ran one of the largest underground websites, where people purchased narcotics, as well as hacking software and counterfeit goods.
They were arrested April 23 and 24 in Germany. Charges come after a two year investigation.
“Three German men, ages 31, 22 and 29, were arrested after the raids in three southern states on allegations they operated the so-called “Wall Street Market” darknet platform, which hosted some 5,400 sellers and more than 1 million customer accounts, Frankfurt prosecutor Georg Ungefuk told reporters in Wiesbaden.”
Klaus-Martin Frost, Jonathan Kalla and Tibo Lousee are estimated to have profited $11 million from the site.
A fourth man, Marcos Paulo De Oliveira-Annibale, 29, of Sao Paulo, Brazil, has also been charged for his role as a moderator on the website. According to the criminal complaint, Annibale served as a medium between merchant and customer disputes for the website
The dark web continues to be a growing concern for law enforcement. The internet and websites like WSM, provide discrete ways for individuals internationally to purchase anything from cocaine and heroin, to fake documents and stolen data. Customers usually pay for these items via bitcoin.
The website was available through the Tor network. Two of the top vendors on MSW are based in L.A and advertised products such as opioids, fentanyl, oxycodone and hydrocodone, according to the DOJ.