TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A southwest Florida man pleaded guilty to using bitcoins to buy a massive amount of drugs via the now-shuttered Silk Road website, federal authorities said Tuesday.
Thirty-four-year-old Angel Quinones imported at least 9,193 grams of MDMA, also known as Ecstasy, from a Dutch supplier between 2012 and 2013, with the intention of selling it in the U.S., according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa. He was one of the largest wholesale re-distributors of illegal drugs on the Silk Road black market website in the United States, the release said.
Cornelis Jan Slomp, 23, sold Quinones wholesale quantities of MDMA on credit in 2012, and then Quinones sold the drugs via Silk Road and split the proceeds with Slomp, authorities said in the news release. Quinones used several post office boxes throughout southwest Florida to ship and receive the drugs, they said.
The authorities added that Slomp sent Quinones bitcoins generated from Silk Road drug transactions to be converted into cash. Slomp agreed that Quinones would hold on to a portion of the proceeds that he had generated for Slomp, until Slomp was ready to retrieve them, prosecutors said.
Earlier this month, Slomp accepted a deal from prosecutors to plead guilty in Illinois federal court in exchange for a much-reduced, 15-year prison term. Slomp is accused of shipping 566,000 ecstasy pills, kilos-worth of cocaine and other drugs through the U.S. mail, making more than $3 million in bitcoins. Judge Matthew Kennelly called Slomp “the world’s largest drug dealer” on the Silk Road site.
Slomp, a college graduate and former software engineer, was arrested in Miami in August after arriving on a plane from Europe to allegedly meet with co-conspirators about spinning off his Silk Road operations.