Slovakian Man Accused of Running Darknet Market Selling Drugs and Personal Information
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri
ST. LOUIS – A Slovakian man was indicted this week on charges that accuse him of running a darknet market that sold drugs and stolen personal information. Investigators have shut down the market.
Alan Bill, 30, of Bratislava, was charged by complaint in U.S. District Court in St. Louis December 14. Bill was arrested December 15 at the Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey by agents with the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations. In an indictment Wednesday, a grand jury charged Bill with ten felonies: conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, four counts of distribution of a controlled substance, conspiracy to commit identity theft and fraud related to identification documents, identity theft, aggravated identity theft, misuse of a passport and money laundering conspiracy.
The complaint and the indictment accuse Bill, also known as “Vend0r” and “KingdomOfficial,” of helping to set up and run Kingdom Market, which had over 25,000 active listings as of late last month. The market opened in March of 2021 and sold illegal drugs and unlicensed pharmaceuticals, stolen identities, credit card information, counterfeit money, computer malware and fraudulent identity documents including passports and drivers licenses from Missouri and other states, the charging documents say.
“The use of darknet marketplaces and cryptocurrency will not protect dangerous criminals from law enforcement efforts to combat the flow of narcotics and other illegal activities,” said U.S. Attorney Sayler A. Fleming. “This case is a result of diligent efforts by a team of U.S. and international investigators to target one of the largest darknet marketplaces in the world.”
“The Kingdom Market darknet site allowed criminals to move dangerous drugs in and out of our communities and use the digital world to hide their illegal activities,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Melissa McFadden of IRS Criminal Investigation’s (CI) St. Louis Field Office. “Collaboration with our global law enforcement partners is the key to disrupting drug trafficking, money laundering and the other illicit activities that occur on the darknet.”
“These darknet marketplaces present a significant danger to our communities here in the U.S. as well as those of our international partners.” said HSI Kansas City acting Special Agent in Charge Taekuk Cho. “Our HSI special agents will continue to disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal organizations wherever we find them. I would like to commend the efforts of our law enforcement partners for their work on this case, and especially thank the HSI Newark team for their assistance in arresting Bill.”
Kingdom Market charged vendors 500 Euros to start selling, then charged fees on sales. Transactions were conducted in cryptocurrency and Kingdom advised users in methods to conceal their transactions, the documents say.
Investigators used the market to purchase methamphetamine, pills containing fentanyl, the personally identifiable information belonging to numerous people and a United States passport, the charging documents say.
Websites associated with Kingdom Market have also been seized by law enforcement.
Charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The drug trafficking conspiracy charge carries a penalty of at least five years in prison, with a maximum of 40, a fine of up to $5 million, or both. The identity theft conspiracy charge carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. The misuse of a passport charge carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. The money laundering conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000, or twice the value of the property involved.
IRS Criminal Investigation, the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the Missouri Department of Revenue investigated the case. The investigation also involved numerous foreign law enforcement agencies, including the German Federal Criminal Police, or Bundeskriminalamt, the Frankfurt am Main Public Prosecutor's Office - Central Office for Combating Internet Crime (ZIT) as well as law enforcement agencies from Switzerland, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Bateman is prosecuting the case.
Robert Patrick, Public Affairs Officer, email@example.com.
Updated December 21, 2023