Man Convicted of Drug Charges Must Forfeit Crypto

The sophisticated trafficking operation did business on the dark web.

John Joseph Moakley Courthouse, Boston.
John Joseph Moakley Courthouse, Boston.

BOSTON (AP) — A man convicted of drug charges in federal court in Boston has been ordered by a judge to forfeit about $2 million worth of Bitcoin, the first judicial forfeiture of cryptocurrency in the federal District of Massachusetts, prosecutors said.

Binh Thanh Le, 25, of Brockton, described by prosecutors as the leader and organizer of a sophisticated drug trafficking operation that did its business on the dark web, was also sentenced last week to eight years in prison, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney's office in Boston.

Le was indicted in June 2019. According to court records, he received large quantities of drugs in the mail from international sources, including ecstasy, Ketamine and Xanax. The drugs were sold on the dark web and shipped to customers throughout the U.S., prosecutors said.

Le was arrested in March 2019 when he met with undercover agents at a Norwood hotel to exchange $200,000 worth of Bitcoin for cash. More than 19 kilograms (42 pounds) of ecstasy, almost 7 kilograms (15.5 pounds) of Ketamine, nearly a kilogram (2 pounds) of cocaine and more than 10,000 counterfeit Xanax pills were seized during the investigation. He pleaded guilty in September.

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