It’s called the dark web, a sector of the internet which you can’t reach using conventional search engines.
People go there believing they’ll be anonymous, and that has made it a popular spot to buy and sell deadly opioids.
Federal agents entered an Ohio home last month looking for digital fingerprints. They were investigating drug trafficking on the dark web.
“We were shocked to see that it was a whole scope of the entire American public that is involved in this,” said Kyle Rau.
Rau supervises narcotics investigations for the Postal Investigation service. Working with the FBI, they penetrated the dark web where dealers believe they can push drugs without detection. “Operation Disarray” led to eight arrests and uncovered 19 new overdose deaths.
“Individuals from all sets of life are involved in this. We had people from young teenaged kids all the way up through professionals,” Rau said. “This is a process that has been so simplified that probably you and I in about five minutes could make a purchase of a narcotic on the dark web.”
The main point of “Operation Disarray” was to let drug dealers and their customers know that if they believe the dark web provides complete anonymity, they are mistaken.
“We do have ways of identifying the individuals as we did for this operation,” FBI special agent Colin McGuire.
McGuire says “Operation Disarray” identified two dark web fentanyl customers near Rockford. He says they turned to the dark web because it’s not as risky as meeting a dealer in an alley.
“That’s why we assess there’s been a significant increase in illicit narcotic transaction on the dark web, because people can avoid that person to person interaction,” McGuire said.