How police identify dealers who use the ‘darknet’ to buy, distribute drugs

Did you know there’s a Craigslist-type of hidden network used to sell illegal substances?

If you think you know about the dangers lurking on the internet, you may think again after hearing about the ‘darknet.’

“It’s a series of numerous websites that were built kind of specifically for people to be able to browse anonymously,” cyber specialist Paul Oster of Better Qualified explained. “Anything that you want to buy is for sale on the darknet.”

According to Oster, the program’s anonymity makes it difficult for law enforcement to track criminals when they use it, forcing officials to rely on delivery companies to try and track the say of illicit products.

New Jersey police were able to track down 28-year-old Chukwuemeka “Emeka” Okparaeke from Kearny using this technique. Okparaeke was arrested earlier this week for allegedly obtaining large quantities of fentanyl on the darknet.

Fentanyl is one of the most powerful painkillers available.

“The alleged scheme combined one of the gravest current threats to public health—highly addictive and potentially lethal opioids—with a very modern criminal tool, the darknet,” the acting United States attorney of New York said in a statement

Oster says it is incredibly easy to get these illegal substances on the darknet.

“Whether it’s fentanyl, cocaine, any black market drug can be purchased through the darknet,” he said.