$18 Million in Sales: International Drug Trafficker Pleads Guilty to Operating Darknet Marketplace

In a significant development, Milomir Desnica, a 33-year-old national of Serbia and Croatia, has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia to charges related to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Desnica's involvement extended to the operation of the darknet marketplace Monopoly Market, where he facilitated the sale of a variety of illicit narcotics, resulting in over $18 million in sales globally. 


Desnica, hailing from Smederevska Palanka, Serbia, entered into a conspiracy in 2019 to establish and manage a website that evolved into the notorious Monopoly Market. This platform served as a hub for the sale of narcotics, including opioids, stimulants, psychedelics, and prescription medications. Law enforcement discovered that Monopoly Market played a key role in facilitating the sale of over 30 kilograms of methamphetamine to customers in the United States.

Law Enforcement Actions:

In a coordinated effort involving U.S. law enforcement, Germany, Finland, and Austria, authorities took down Monopoly Market in December 2021. The investigation revealed that the platform had processed orders exceeding 100 grams of methamphetamine within the United States. Following the seizure of the server hosting Monopoly, authorities were able to identify Desnica as one of the operators through extensive analysis of records related to narcotics sales, financial transactions, online forums, and communication logs.

Desnica's arrest was made possible through collaboration with the Austrian Fugitive Active Search Team (FAST) and the Public Prosecutors Office in Vienna. In November 2022, he was apprehended in Austria, and on June 23, 2023, he was extradited to the United States to face drug trafficking charges.

International Cooperation:

The success of this operation underscores the importance of international collaboration in combating transnational criminal activities. Law enforcement agencies from Germany, Finland, Austria, and Serbia played crucial roles in locating, arresting, and extraditing Desnica. The Justice Department's Office of International Affairs also contributed significantly to the arrest and extradition process.

Investigation Details:

The case is being investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office's Hi-Tech Opioid Task Force and Germany’s Zentrale Kriminalinspektion (ZKI) Oldenburg Cybercrime Unit. The Hi-Tech Opioid Task Force, comprised of various law enforcement agencies, focuses on identifying and investigating darknet marketplaces involved in the illegal acquisition and distribution of controlled substances.

Milomir Desnica's guilty plea sheds light on the global reach and impact of darknet marketplaces in the illegal drug trade. The successful collaboration between U.S. and international law enforcement agencies underscores their commitment to dismantling such criminal networks and holding individuals accountable for their involvement in narcotics trafficking on a large scale. Desnica's sentencing, scheduled for February 15, 2024, will mark a crucial step in addressing the challenges posed by the dark web in the distribution of illicit substances.



DATA SOURCE: District of Columbia | Serbian Citizen Pleads Guilty to Running Monopoly Drug Market on the Darknet | United States Department of Justice