Bitcoin Sting Ensnares Irving Drug Dealer Whose Opioids Caused Deadly Overdose, Feds Say

An Irving drug dealer used cryptocurrency and the "dark web" to peddle opioids that led to a deadly overdose, federal authorities say in an indictment unsealed this week.Sean Shaughnessy, 51, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, distribution of fentanyl and similar drugs and several counts of money laundering, court documents show. He was indicted a week ago and remains in federal custody.Prosecutors say Shaughnessy tried to conceal his online drug-dealing racket by using the dark web, the internet's seedier underworld where users can operate in relative anonymity.That anonymity also allowed federal authorities to conceal their identities and set up a sting operation in which Shaughnessy traded his illicit bitcoin windfall for more than $120,000 in cash mailed to various addresses in Dallas and Addison, according to a federal indictment."Darknet dealers often believe that by using bitcoin, they can evade authorities," U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox said in a written release. "This prosecution proves that's not the case."Among Shaughnessy's buyers was a drug user who overdosed on a drug similar to fentanyl and died, authorities said. They did not identify the victim or say where that person lived.If convicted, Shaughnessy faces up to 20 years in federal prison on each of the 11 charges he faces.  Continue reading...

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