A Hickory man will spend nine years behind bars for drug trafficking on the dark web.
Travis Justin Stout, 36, of Hickory, was sentenced Thursday to nine years in prison and three years of supervised release for drug trafficking conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute narcotics on the dark web.
Law enforcement began investigating Stout for trafficking narcotics in the greater Hickory area in 2016, according to information contained in filed court documents and the sentencing hearing.
Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement determined that Stout was purchasing narcotics, including MDMA or ecstasy, methamphetamine, amphetamine and marijuana on the dark web, using various forms of cryptocurrency.
Court records show that Stout also 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 trafficked narcotics from the Netherlands and Belgium, among other locations, in this conspiracy.
Judge Bell stated in handing down Stout’s sentence that this was an extremely sophisticated international drug trafficking case, involving the dark web, and noted this sentence will deter others from completing similar sophisticated dark web crimes.
Stout is in custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray announced Stout’s sentencing. He was joined in the announcement by Ronnie Martinez, special agent in charge of ICE/Homeland Security Investigations in Georgia and the Carolinas, Tommy D. Coke, inspector in charge of the Atlanta division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service which oversees Charlotte, and Chief Thurman Whisnant of the Hickory Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sanjeev Bhasker and Seth Johnson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted the case.