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Dark Web vendor forfeits ‘millions of dollars’ in cryptocurrencies; sentenced to 70 months in prison

Steven Zheng

A San Diego man has been sentenced to 70 months in prison for conspiring to sell drugs through the Dark Web, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California. 

Thirty-nine year-old Sky Justin Gornik was sentenced by District Court Judge Anthony J. Battaglia for "participating in a conspiracy to deliver, distribute and dispense controlled substances through the internet." Gornik previously pled guilty to these charges in addition to engaging in the conspiracy to launder drug proceeds using cryptocurrencies. According to the Attorney's Office's release, Gornik employed multiple anonymous screen names and used Dark Web marketplaces like Alpha Bay, Trade Route, and Abraxas to buy and sell illicit drugs such as Fentanyl and Carfentanil using a variety of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ether, monero, and stratis.

As part of Gornik's guilty plea, he agreed to forfeit millions of dollars contained in his Bittrex and Poloniex accounts. “Dark Web traffickers take note: we will not allow you to lurk in murky corners of the internet, selling and delivering deadly drugs as casually as an Amazon Prime package,” said U.S. Attorney Robert S. Brewer, Jr., who commended Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri Hobson and the multi-agency team for “cracking through multiple levels of anonymity mazes to uncover the true nature and extent of Gornik’s drug dealing and money laundering.”