Buying online is never anonymous. No matter what they say or how much you try: They can trace you and find out everything about you. Just ask ‘CocaineKing247,’ a 46-year-old man from Great Britain who used the dark web to order fragmentation grenades from a vendor and import them to the England.
Paul Stellato (photo above) - who was jailed for 10 years in 1998 for arson with intent to endanger life – sent an image of an explosive to an associate, asking: “If I add shrapnel will it do a hole in a house?” Using his online profile ‘CocaineKing247,’ on November 23, 2016, he contacted a seller on the now closed-down AlphaBay market, asking if the advertised hand grenades could be delivered to the United Kingdom.
After the seller assured him that he indeed could, Stellato - who has 36 convictions for 171 offences - told him to send them to his flat in Manor Road, Brackley, Northants. Because you want to make sure that the illegal goods you bought anonymously on the dark web, arrive at your real-life place of residence. Still, safety first, so he addressed them to a fake name.
With all the recent terror attacks, hand grenades could be an, pardon the pun, explosive product. So he also wrote: “No matter what, these are not for terrorism affairs, domestic protection only.”
Well, that’s reassuring, no?
Stellato then paid for the grenades using bitcoins. The total sum came down to $370.48.
It didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to catch this criminal mastermind and today he was convicted of attempting to possess ammunition with intent to endanger life. He will be sentenced on 16 February.
“Stellato is a career criminal with a very long record and a history of violence,” National Crime Agency branch commander David Norris said. “It is a frightening prospect to think what he could have done with three grenades. We worked tirelessly with our partners – including the FBI and Northamptonshire Police who helped us arrest Stellato – to keep these weapons away from him.”
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