(Courthouse News) – A Lexington, South Carolina man pleaded guilty Thursday to trafficking drugs on the “deep web” using Bitcoin.
Joseph Patrick Gelli, 23, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering after investigators found he used Bitcoin to purchase marijuana and psychotropic mushrooms from illegal websites.
Gelli had the drugs delivered to his home, and then sold them, prosecutors said. A search of his home turned up drugs and $38,000 in cash.
Bitcoin is a virtual currency. According to Thomas Holloman, III, the special agent in charge of the investigation for the Internal Revenue Service, it can be used in a wide variety of financial crimes.
The so-called “deep” or “dark” web is a portion of the Internet that is not accessible through common search engines like Google or Yahoo.
No date has been set for Gelli’s sentencing. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail and a fine of $500,000.