Cornelis Jan “SuperTrips” Slomp had more than $20,000 in cash and hopes of making a splash on the South Beach party scene when he landed at Miami International Airport in August.
But before he could pick up the Lamborghini sports car he’d hired, the young Dutchman was arrested by customs agents working with Chicago prosecutors.
Just 22, Slomp was a very modern millionaire, the feds allege: an international Internet drug dealer who accepted payment in bitcoins for ecstasy, cocaine, LSD and other drugs.
Now, in one of the biggest cyber drug cases ever brought, his lawyer says he’s agreed to plead guilty to selling huge quantities of dope through the underground website, Silk Road.
Equipped with only a laptop, an iPhone and a backpack — he planned to buy clothes in Miami, the feds say — Slomp amassed more than $3 million in bitcoins shipping 104 kilos of MDMA, 566,000 ecstasy pills and 4 kilos of cocaine and other drugs through the mail, court papers state.
Some drugs ended up in Chicago, but Slomp shipped to almost every continent, boasting he had “big stockpiles of product, you literally cannot empty me out.”
On Silk Road, where anonymous traders sold illegal drugs and other illicit products, he developed a reputation for ecstasy pills marked with his logo, a green question mark. He was planning to hand off his U.S. business to an unnamed associate when he was arrested, the feds say.
According to a new release from the U.S. Attorney’s office, he has agreed to plead guilty and faces between five and 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine, plus the forfeiture of approximately $3,030,000 in alleged drug proceeds. The government says it seized the equivalent of that amount in bitcoins, a digital currency, and exchanged it for cash.
U.S. Attorney Zach Fardon — who formed a new cybercrime unit last month — said, “Illegal drug-trafficking is not new but drug-trafficking using a sophisticated underground computer network designed to protect anonymity of buyers and sellers presents new challenges to law enforcement that we are prepared to meet.”
Slomp’s attorney, Paul Petruzzi, agreed that “the Internet is the future of drug dealing.”
Asked about the huge sums Slomp was able to quickly make, Petruzzi added: “Young people are much more adept on the Internet.”
Petruzzi refused to comment on whether Slomp, facing up to 40 years in prison, is cooperating with authorities. But just two months after Slomp was quietly arrested and brought to Chicago, Silk Road was shut down by the feds.
Chicago’s Homeland Security boss Gary Hartwig described Slomp as “a prolific vendor on Silk Road.”
Silk Road’s collapse in October 2013 followed the arrest in San Francisco of its alleged founder Ross William Ulbricht — who allegedly went by “Dread Pirate Roberts” — and is accused in a New York federal court case of drug trafficking, soliciting murder, facilitating computer hacking and money laundering.
The feds say that during an 18 month undercover investigation of Slomp, they seized more than 100 packages he sent, including a large shipment of ecstasy seized at O’Hare Airport in April 2012.
The government seizures may be to blame for Internet chatroom rumors about Slomp being a scam artist who did not deliver the drugs he’d been paid for.
One Silk Road user complained two weeks before Slomp’s arrest in August that “I ordered a huge order from (SuperTrips)… it has yet to come.”
“Now the problem is I’m leaving for Burning Man in a few days… Can anyone give me some useful advice as to what I should do?”