On Wednesday, a Serbian man entered a guilty plea for running the darknet drug trafficking portal Monopoly Market.
The 33-year-old Milomir Desnica is accused of starting and running Monopoly in late 2019 and using it to help sell a variety of substances, including prescription pharmaceuticals, stimulants, psychedelics, and opioids.
According to a statement released by the Department of Justice on Wednesday, he made around $18 million in drug sales globally, including the sale of over 30 kilograms of methamphetamine to consumers in the United States. Desnica’s trial is taking place in the District of Columbia, and in February, he is expected to be sentenced.
He might be hit with fines and a maximum term of life in jail.
Law enforcement from Germany and Finland gained control of the computer server that hosted Monopoly in 2021 and shut it down.
One of the biggest law enforcement operations against a darknet marketplace, the takedown resulted in 288 vendors being arrested, surpassing the 150 that were made after DarkMarket was taken down in 2021 and the 179 that were made after Wall Street Market was taken down in 2019.
Along with 850 kg of cocaine, law officers also found more than $53.4 million in cash and virtual currencies.
Following her November arrest in Austria, Desnica was extradited to the United States in June of last year to face accusations related to cocaine trafficking.
According to reports, Desnica laundered his illegal profits via at least two bitcoin trading platforms. In an attempt to “clean” his winnings, he subsequently sold the cryptocurrency to peer-to-peer dealers in Serbia in return for fiat money, according to a statement released by the prosecution in June.