Police bust online narcotics 'Farmers Market'

Apr 17, 2012
This file photo shows a collection of samples of different drugs on display at the Museum of Drugs of Mexico City, pictured in 2008. US authorities have announced the bust of an online narcotics "Farmers Market" where people around the globe could buy LSD, ecstasy and other illicit substances.

US authorities announced the bust of an online narcotics "Farmers Market" where people around the globe could buy LSD, ecstasy and other illicit substances.

Fifteen people were arrested as the result of a two-year-long investigation code-named "Project Adam Bomb" and involved law enforcement in Scotland, Colombia, the Netherlands and the United States, the said in a statement.

"The drug trafficking organization targeted in Operation Adam Bomb was distributing dangerous and to every corner of the world, and trying to hide their activities through the use of advanced anonymizing online technology," said (DEA) acting special agent in charge Briane Grey.

Eight men named in a criminal indictment were suspected of operating a "Farmers " online storefront that allowed suppliers to advertise narcotics and consummate deals with shoppers.

Six of the alleged "conspirators" lived in the United States, with a seventh being a US citizen living in Argentina.

Marc Willems, 42, was described as the "lead defendant" in the case and was taken into custody on Monday at his home in the Netherlands, officials said.

The eight men face and money laundering charges "stemming from their creation and operation of a secret online narcotics marketplace" that brokered sales of the substances in 24 countries, according to the Justice Department.

In addition to the eight men named in the indictment, authorities arrested seven others -- two more in the Netherlands, and five in the United States -- involved in the case.

Officials said the virtual marketplace provided order forms, online forums, customer service, delivery guarantees, even mainstream payment tools including and .

Market operators purportedly charged commissions based on values of orders.

Approximately $1.04 million worth of drug sales were processed at the online market between January 2007 and October of 2009, according to investigators.

The online drug market was said to have thousands of registered users, and investigators identified customers in every US state as well as in 34 other countries.

The drug menu at the market reportedly included mescaline, LSD, ecstasy, and high-end marijuana.

Farmers Market, which was named "Adamflowers" when the operation launched, operated on a TOR network of encrypted Internet connections and relays crafted prevent websites and digital communications from being traced.

"Illegal trafficking now reaches every corner of our world, including our home computers," said US attorney for the Central District of California Andre Birotte, whose office is handling prosecution of the case.

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User comments : 2

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dirk_bruere
4 / 5 (1) Apr 17, 2012
PayPal was the weak link - they should have used Bitcoin
JustinInOz
1 / 5 (1) Apr 24, 2012
What a truly pathetic operation that was busted. If they divided their revenue equally, they averaged just less than 70 dollars a day each. That was before they even paid any of their costs. Paypal probably made more profit from this operation than any other of the participants.