How Narcotics and Economic Crime Investigations (NECI) Task Force arrested multiple dark web drug vendors?

The Narcotics and Economic Crimes Investigations (NECI) Task Force, a specialized unit of California police, has expanded its list of names of arrested dark web vendors, publishing this information on an onion service related to these investigations.

The task force is made up of the Office of Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

This group has actively collaborated in multiple investigations related to the operation of online black markets, keeping updated data on prominent sellers and the latest arrests made by the authorities, which has allowed the interruption of operations for the sale of drugs, stolen confidential information and malware samples.

According to the most recent report, the list of dark web sellers arrested was updated with the following names:

  • Farmacy41
  • sicknessVersion2, also known as 23MightyMouse23
  • Houseofdank, also known as BestBuyMeds or TrapMart
  • DankStix
  • BudgetBudsExpress
  • CokeWave
  • SafeDealsDirect
  • Cannabars, also known as thefastplug
  • PhantomLabs
  • Diablow, also known as raiseappeals or RaisedByDiablow
  • CaliCartel, also known as Playground, GaminoCrimeFamily or DopeQueen
  • DrFrosty
  • guessguess
  • largomonkey, also known as sillycoconut
  • Super_Shards
  • Gemstoned
  • TheCommission, also known as TheCovenant
  • chlnsaint
  • CaliPlugMike, also known as DatCubensisBoy or FantasticFungi
  • bossoftherock
  • igogrraawwr

Although the report mentions that all illegal transactions related to these users have been interrupted, the list should be taken with reservations. In 2019, several allegedly arrested dark web vendors were shown to be still operating, demonstrating the ability of threat actors to evade law enforcement agencies.

Another element that could detract from credibility is the constant removal of names from the list; for example, an earlier version of the list included the seller’s name “DrFrosty,” whose name is no longer found in the most recent versions of the listing.

For now, NECI’s platforms maintain a little functional design, showing the available information in a disorganized and confusing way, in addition to the fact that many members of the cybersecurity community believe that there are not enough locks to guarantee that erroneous information is not being included in this database, so the work can still improve.

To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.