Cryptocurrency forfeited after Hickory man pleads guilty to drug trafficking

  

PRESS RELEASE

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray announced today that Travis Justin Stout, 35, of Hickory, N.C., appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge David S. Cayer and pleaded guilty to drug trafficking conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute narcotics on the Dark Web.

Ronnie Martinez, Special Agent in Charge of ICE/Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Georgia and the Carolinas, David M. McGinnis, Inspector in Charge of the Charlotte Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and Chief Thurman Whisnant the Hickory Police Department join U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement.

According to information contained in filed court documents and today’s plea hearing, in 2016, law enforcement began investigating Stout for trafficking narcotics in the greater Hickory area. Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement determined that Stout was purchasing narcotics, including MDMA (Ecstasy), methamphetamine, amphetamine, and marijuana, on the Dark Web, using various forms of cryptocurrency. Court records show that Stout used the Dark Web to traffic narcotics throughout the United States and internationally, including on the AlphaBay Market, and stored the drug proceeds in multiple virtual currency wallets. Stout was arrested after he received a dark web drug delivery. Law enforcement seized his computer and recovered cryptocurrency drug proceeds associated with these crimes, which Stout has agreed to forfeit to the U.S. Government.

The drug trafficking conspiracy charge carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison, and a $1,000,000 fine. The possession with intent to distribute charge also carries a maximum prison term of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine. A sentencing date for Stout has not been set.

In making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney Murray thanked HSI in Charlotte, USPIS, and the Hickory Police Department for their investigation on this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sanjeev Bhasker and Seth Johnson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte are in charge of the prosecution.

This press release appears as received from the US Attorney’s Office for Western NC with the exception of  page/text/space/paragraph/general formatting details.  Picture placement also excluded.  All pictures included with original release may not be shown here. Separate reports contained within the same press release may have also been removed. Additionally, the different pieces of the press release may have been re-arranged.  This press release was posted at WSICfm.com after being received from the agency listed. Article title and picture captions may, or may not be, part of the press release.  This information does, however, reflect the information received from the US Attorney’s Office for Western NC.

Author: WSIC editor