Nurse Accused of Selling Drugs on Silk Road and other Darknet Marketplaces for Bitcoin
A nurse in California has been arrested on suspicion of illegally selling opiates on the dark web on marketplaces such as Silk Road, AlphaBay, and Pandora in exchange for bitcoin since 2013. She was arrested last week and could face distribution and conspiracy charges.
Running a Successful Illegal Pharmacy on the Dark Web
The Daily Mail reported that California resident Carris Alaine Markis has sold over 20,000 opiate pills, including lethal drugs such as fentanyl and morphine, on various dark web marketplaces in the last six years. The 46-year old registered nurse allegedly earned tens of thousands of dollars selling pills on the dark web through its “online pharmacy” called Farmacy41.
According to court documents, Markis has sold oxycodone, morphine pills, fentanyl patches, and hydrocone as well as other medication. Her illegal pharmacy businesses allegedly generated 393 sales on the Pandora marketplace where she earned around $122,000 in bitcoin and was active on the now-defunct AlphaBay market, where she sold pharmaceuticals worth over almost $75,000.
Markis’ illicit business allegedly dates back so long that she was even active on the infamous Silk Road marketplace before it was shut down. On Silk Road, she sold drugs worth around $232,000 according to court papers.
While illegally selling potentially lethal pharmaceuticals is a serious crime that should not be condoned, Markis did manage to keep her customers happy. Her online pharmacy reportedly received excellent reviews. “User reviews of Farmacy41 are overwhelmingly positive. The majority of the users’ ratings are five out of five stars,” the affidavit states.
Markis is currently being held Sacramento County Main Jail without bail awaiting her trial.
Pharmaceutical Tracking on the Blockchain
As BTCManager reported recently, there are several pharmaceutical tracking on the blockchain projects in the works that aim to combat the spread of counterfeit medicine.
Pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Genentech, for example, have launched the MediLedger project on top of the Ethereum blockchain to prevent counterfeit medicine and pills entering the supply chains of pharmaceutical companies. Recently launched blockchain startup FamaTrust also aims to leverage the blockchain and an AI-based provenance system to rid the pharmaceutical supply chain of counterfeit medicine.
While these projects can help to clean up the pharma supply chain, it is unlikely, however, that they can prevent the end product from being sold illegally. Once pharmaceuticals end up in hospitals or pharmacies they have reached the end of their supply chain and their movement can no longer be easily tracked. At that point, anyone with legal access to them, such as a nurse, for example, can still decide to sell them illegally.