(NewsNation) — Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the results of an international investigative operation into drug trafficking on the dark web.
“Our message to criminals on the dark web is this: You can try to hide in the furthest reaches of the internet, but the Justice Department will find you and hold you accountable for your crimes,” Garland said.
Operation SpecTor involved multiple federal agencies as well as enforcement agencies in Europe and South America. As a result of the investigation, 288 people have been arrested and 117 firearms, 850 kilograms of drugs, including 64 kilograms of fentanyl-laced narcotics, and $53.4 million in cash and virtual currencies were seized.
“The availability of dangerous substances like fentanyl on dark net marketplaces is helping to fuel the crisis that has claimed far too many American lives,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Arrests were made for those producing illegal narcotics or counterfeit pills which were sold on the dark web, often using cryptocurrency.
The operation was conducted along with a public safety effort, Operation ProtecTor. FBI field offices and other agencies worked to locate those who bought an individual amount of narcotics through the dark web in order to direct them to available resources for those with substance use disorders.