Bulloch County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man Friday they said bought and sold illegal drugs via the “dark web.”
Collin Castillo, 21, listed as a student at East Georgia State College, faces several charges after a month-long investigation into alleged drug activity at his Cottage Row home on Hwy. 67, said Bulloch County Sheriff Noel Brown.
Bulloch County Crime Suppression Team members have spent the past month surveilling Castillo, who was “suspected to be selling quantities of liquid Ezitolam, a benzodiazepine not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and commonly imported into the USA by use of the ‘dark web’ and paid for with untraceable crypto-currency,” he said.
According to Internet website www.csoonline.com, the dark web is “part of the internet that isn't visible to search engines and requires the use of software such as an anonymizing browser called Tor, or the Invisible Internet Project (I2P) to be accessed.”
People use the dark web for “buying and selling of illegal items, such as drugs, weapons and even human organs” as well as some “positive, legal reasons” such as people “working under oppressive regimes …to communicate safely and anonymously,” the site said.
Brown said CST members conducted “undercover buys and operations” and caught Castillo in the act of buying some Xanax via the dark web, using “crypto-currency.”
According to the Internet website www.blockgeeks.com, “Cryptocurrency is an internet-based medium of exchange which uses cryptographic functions to conduct financial transactions. Cryptocurrencies leverage ‘blockchain’ technology to gain decentralization, transparency, and immutability.”
Castillo had the illegal drugs shipped to his home, but deputies intercepted 1,100 pressed pills with markings not consistent with any pharmaceutical drug manufactured anywhere in the USA, Brown said.
Castillo was taken into custody on charges of sale of a Schedule IV drug; purchase of a Schedule IV drug with intent to distribute; possession of a firearm during commission of a crime; criminal attempt to distribute a Schedule IV drug; possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and possession/use of a drug related object.
He is being held without bond in the Bulloch County Jail pending further court hearings.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at 912-489-9414.