According to local media reports, two residents of Rancho Cordova, a city in the state of California were identified to be in possession of marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms. They were also selling them on social media in exchange for a partial payment in cryptocurrency. U.S Attorney McGregor W.Scott, announced on the 29th of November, that Nathan Paul Barnes and Tiarra Maureen Jackson were being held accountable for seven-count indictment.
It has been officially reported that they were running an enterprise dealing with drug distribution, under the name of “Fine Cali Herb” across various social media platforms. Popular social media applications like Instagram and Snapchat were being used by them to sell large quantities of these narcotics across various parts of the world. As per reports, the payments were made with bitcoins.
Investigation of their social media accounts in July 2018 revealed information about the entire operation and the purchases that were made. Though a confession hasn’t been extracted from the duo, if convicted, they will be facing a hefty fine of 1 million USD, and a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison.
The statement notes:
Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
However, this is not the first time that reports of cryptocurrencies being used for selling drugs have emerged. Since the cryptocurrency is decentralized and the transactions are recorded over a distributed ledger, it is quite easy to use crypto for illegal activities. Earlier this year, Gal Vallerius was arrested for selling drugs on a dark web marketplace, using crypto.