Crime

Merced couple pleads guilty for conducting dark web drug sales, say feds

What is the dark web?

Think of the internet as having different layers: the surface web, the deep web and the dark web. Here is an explainer of these layers.
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Think of the internet as having different layers: the surface web, the deep web and the dark web. Here is an explainer of these layers.

A Merced couple have pleaded guilty to committing a scheme where they sold cocaine, cocaine base, methamphetamine and marijuana through several accounts on a dark-web marketplace, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Jabari Monson, 32, and his partner Saudia Monson, 39, were arrested Jan. 17 by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

From July 2018 through January this year, the Monsons operated the vendor accounts “Best Buy Meds,” “Trap Mart” and “House of Dank,” on the dark-web marketplace Dream Market, according to a news release.

Jabari Monson pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute controlled substances and faces between five and 40 years in prison with a $5 million fine.

Saudia Monson pleaded guilty to violating the Travel Act by using mail and the internet to distribute controlled substances and faces a maximum of five years in prison with a $250,000 fine.

The couple agreed to forfeit cryptocurrency proceeds of the drug scheme, including Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.

The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

The couple is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez on Nov. 19.

Vikaas Shanker is an award-winning reporter covering education, crime and courts for the Merced Sun-Star and Los Banos Enterprise. After growing up in Naperville, Illinois and graduating from the University of Kansas, he reported in several Chicago suburbs before moving to Merced County in 2016.
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