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Press Release

Serbian Citizen Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison for Operating the Monopoly Narcotics Marketplace on the Dark Net

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, 34, a national of Serbia and Croatia, was sentenced to 168 months in prison for operating the Monopoly Market, a dark net website that provided a vast online marketplace for the sale of illicit narcotics, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and FBI Special Agent in Charge David J. Scott of the Washington Field Office’s Criminal and Cyber Division.

            In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Carl J. Nichols ordered Desnica to forfeit cash and cryptocurrency obtained from his involvement in operating Monopoly. Desnica pleaded guilty on Nov. 8, 2023, to charges of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

            According to the government’s evidence, Desnica, of Smederevska Palanka, Serbia, entered into a conspiracy in 2019 to develop and operate a website that became Monopoly Market. According to the indictment, Monopoly grew into an international marketplace for the sale of illicit narcotics including opioids, stimulants, psychedelics, and prescription medications, among other drugs. The products were sold by individual vendors on Monopoly with Monopoly admins typically taking a 5% cut for each facilitated sale. Vendors were required to prove they had sufficient stock of their product. Monopoly would accept photographic proof of the inventory.

            In 2021, law enforcement within the United States placed and received numerous orders on Monopoly for narcotics 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. Law enforcement analyzed the seized server and identified records of the narcotics sales, financial records documenting cryptocurrency payments on Monopoly, an online forum associated with Monopoly, communications from the Monopoly operators to vendors, commission payment invoices, and more. Desnica was identified as an operator of Monopoly through the analysis of the records. The FBI identified Bitcoin wallets used by administrators to collect commissions. 

            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 and seized 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 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.

            The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nihar Mohanty and former U.S. Attorney Andy Wang of the Violence Reduction and Trafficking Offenses (VRTO) Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

Updated February 15, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 24-135