Timeline: Arrests of AlphaBay Vendors AREA51 and DARKAPOLLO

Although much of the information has been redacted, a sworn affidavit by a DEA agent helps break down the investigation of two recently indicted AlphaBay heroin dealers.

The sworn affidavit by the agent who is only identified as ‘John Xxxx,’ details the work in his role as part of the Central California Darknet Strike Force, where he was trained to track down darknet vendors. He described learning to “operate an undercover dark marketplace account.” He also learned how to purchase narcotics with the accounts and how to utilize PGP and bitcoins.

January 2016:

John began investigating the top heroin dealers on AlphaBay. In his analysis, he came across AREA51 and DARKAPOLLO. He determined that both accounts were operated by the same person based on each vendor profile. Both vendors advertised that their heroin was directly imported from Afghanistan and both accounts offered the same products in the same quantities. He deduced the accounts were operated by the same individual(s).


March 2016:

A full investigation into AREA51 and DARKAPOLLO was initiated. John discovered, through forums discussing darknet markets, that customers of both vendors received packages that originated

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