U.S. and European regulation enforcement officers have arrested 150 people and seized greater than $31 million in an international drug trafficking investigation stemming from gross sales on the darknet, the Justice Department introduced on Tuesday.

The arrests are linked to a 10-month investigation between federal regulation enforcement officers in the U.S. and Europol in Europe. Prosecutors allege these charged are chargeable for tens of 1000’s of unlawful gross sales in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Australia, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Investigators have seized over $31.6 million in money and digital foreign money and 45 weapons, the Justice Department stated. 

Investigators additionally recovered a slew of unlawful medicine, together with counterfeit medicine and opioid tablets, together with greater than 152 kilograms of amphetamine, 21 kilograms of cocaine, and 32.5 kilograms of MDMA, in line with prosecutors.

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Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, with Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite Jr. of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, speaks during a news at the Department of Justice in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. Law enforcement officials in the U.S. and Europe have arrested 150 people and seized more than $31 million in an international drug trafficking investigation stemming from sales on the darknet. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, with Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, speaks throughout a news on the Department of Justice in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. Law enforcement officers in the U.S. and Europe have arrested 150 people and seized greater than $31 million in an international drug trafficking investigation stemming from gross sales on the darknet. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
((AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Of the arrested people, 65 people have been in the U.S., 47 have been in Germany, 24 have been in the United Kingdom, 4 have been in Italy, 4 have been in the Netherlands, three have been in France, two have been in Switzerland, and one particular person was in Bulgaria.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco stated investigators discovered that darknet distributors have been working pretend laboratories in their houses to create pretend tablets — designed to appear like prescription ache tablets — which can be laced with fentanyl, methamphetamine, and different unlawful medicine.

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The darknet is a component of the web hosted inside an encrypted community and accessible solely by specialised anonymity-providing instruments, most notably the Tor Browser.

The operation was particularly designed to focus on “drug distributors who use the darknet to traffic these illicit drugs and items like pill presses, which are fueling the ongoing opioid crisis plaguing our communities,” Monaco stated.

The Justice Department stated its investigation was ongoing and investigators have been nonetheless working to determine different people behind darknet accounts.

Monaco described that for the reason that novel coronavirus pandemic started, “more people have turned to the darknet than ever before to buy drugs.”

“Before I close, I want to address those who remain on the darknet, those who are peddling illegal drugs and thinking they are safe behind layers of digital anonymity,” Monaco stated. “My message to you is simple: There is no dark internet. We can and we will shine a light.”

Fox News’ Jake Gibson contributed to this report, in addition to The Associated Press.