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Press Release

Serbian Citizen Pleads Guilty to Running Monopoly Drug Market on the Darknet

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Facilitated the Sale of Over 30 Kilograms of Meth to U.S. Customers

            WASHINGTON –Milomir Desnica, 33, a national of Serbia and Croatia, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia to charges of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and FBI Special Agent in Charge Wayne A. Jacobs, of the Washington Field Office’s Criminal and Cyber Division. U.S. District Court Judge Carl J. Nichols scheduled sentencing for February 15, 2024.

            According to the government’s evidence, Desnica, of Smederevska Palanka, Serbia, entered into a conspiracy in 2019 to develop and operate a website to sell narcotics that became Monopoly Market. According to the indictment, Monopoly grew into a vast marketplace for the sale of illicit narcotics including opioids, stimulants, psychedelics, and prescription medications, among other drugs.

            In 2021, law enforcement within the United States placed and received numerous orders for narcotics on Monopoly from various vendors. Authorities ordered more than 100 grams of methamphetamine on Monopoly. Through its investigation, the FBI determined that Monopoly facilitated over $18 million in narcotics sales around the world, including the sale of over 30 kilograms of methamphetamine to customers in the United States.

            In December 2021, in coordination with foreign law enforcement partners in Germany and Finland, law enforcement seized the computer server hosting Monopoly and took it offline. Through analysis of the seized server, law enforcement identified records of the narcotics sales, financial records documenting cryptocurrency payments on Monopoly, an online forum associated with Monopoly, communications from the Monopoly operator to vendors, commission payment invoices, and more. Through extensive analysis of these records, Desnica was identified as an operator of Monopoly.

            In November 2022, in coordination with the Austrian Fugitive Active Search Team (FAST) and the Public Prosecutors Office Vienna, Desnica was located and arrested in Austria. Law enforcement conducted a search of his residence and vehicle, seizing electronics and cash.

            On June 23, 2023, Desnica was extradited from Austria to the United States to face drug trafficking charges.

            This case is being investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office’s Hi-Tech Opioid Task Force and Germany’s Zentrale Kriminalinspektion (ZKI) Oldenburg Cybercrime Unit. The Hi-Tech Opioid Task Force is composed of FBI agents, analysts, and task force partners, including special agents and officers of the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and detectives from local assisting police agencies. The task force is charged with identifying and investigating the most egregious darknet marketplaces and the vendors operating on the marketplaces who are engaged in the illegal acquisition and distribution of controlled substances, including methamphetamine, fentanyl, and other opioids.

            The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs worked to secure the arrest and extradition from Austria of Desnica and also provided significant assistance. Valuable assistance was also provided by Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation; Europol; Germany’s Bundeskriminalamt; Austria’s Bundeskriminalamt Cybercrime Competency Center, FAST team, and Public Prosecutors Office Vienna; and the Republic of Serbia High-Tech Crimes Special Prosecutor. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andy Wang and Nihar Mohanty of the Violence Reduction and Trafficking Offenses (VRTO) Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

Updated November 8, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs
Press Release Number: 23-685