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Halifax man arrested for international drug trafficking using dark web

By Caitlin Snow Oct 20, 2023 | 12:04 PM

A first of its kind in Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime (FSOC) Federal RCMP and Homeland Security busted an international drug trafficker in Halifax, using the dark web to ship opioids across Canada and the U.S.

Operation Hackstone began in February 2023, after RCMP received information of opioid drugs being mailed out of the province.

RCMP say the suspect was advertising the sale of the drugs out of the dark web and receiving cryptocurrency as payment.

Several methods were used in the investigation, including physical surveillance and what RCMP call, an undercover operation.

Investigators executed search warrants all across HRM resulting in the seizure of a 2021 Toyota Rav4, hydromorphone, Dexedrine, ketamine, MDMA, Xanax and other prescription medications, receipts, shipping labels, packaging and electronic devices.

“International organized crime is taking on more and more forms, due to its nimbleness and ability to exploit new technology. In cooperation with the Five Eyes Law Enforcement Group (Canada, U.K., New Zealand, Australia and U.S.A.) the RCMP Federal Police are developing counter measures that enable the RCMP to address the cyber threats and exploitative efforts of these types of criminals, who prey upon emerging and existing vulnerabilities.” says Superintendent Jason Popik, Federal Policing Criminal Operations Officer with the Nova Scotia RCMP.

The 37-year-old was arrested on August 30, was released on conditions and will appear in court November 6, facing the following charges:

-Trafficking a Controlled Substance – Hydromorphone (three counts);
-Trafficking a Controlled Substance – Amphetamine;
-Exporting a Controlled Substance from Canada – Hydromorphone (five counts);
-Exporting a Controlled Substance from Canada – Amphetamine;
-Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (two counts);
-Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Exporting (two counts)