Trappy_Pandora, one of the former spokespersons for Alphabay, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit access device fraud.
His plea is the end of his nefarious career as an AlphaBay promoter.”
Ronald L. Wheeler, III, a/k/a Trappy, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit access device fraud for working as a public relations specialist for the Dark Web Marketplace AlphaBay.
Department of Justice:
“Wheeler spent hours on the Dark Web and general Internet providing AlphaBay users tips for attempting to avoid detection by law enforcement,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “His plea is the end of his nefarious career as an AlphaBay promoter.”
“In pleading guilty, Ronald Wheeler has become another example that you cannot hide behind the anonymity created by the Darkweb,” said Thomas J. Holloman, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. “IRS-CI, with its law enforcement partners, will continue to take every step in taking down those who create and facilitate Dark Web sites while attempting to hide their illegal profits by seeking payment in digital currencies such as Bitcoin.”
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court: Ronald L. Wheeler III a/k/a Trappy conspired with Alexandre Cazes a/k/a Alpha02 a/k/a Admin, and others to commit access device fraud through the operation of The Onion Routing (“TOR”) Dark Web marketplace AlphaBay. AlphaBay was an international criminal marketplace that enabled users to purchase and sell stolen and fraudulently obtained access devices, illegal drugs, firearms, hacking tools, and other illicit goods and services. Sales listings on the website were organized into categories, including “Fraud,” “Drugs & Chemicals,” “Counterfeit Items,” “Weapons,” and “Carded Items.”
On or about May 25, 2015, Wheeler began working as a public relations specialist for AlphaBay. Wheeler’s duties included moderating the AlphaBay subreddit on the internet website reddit.com; moderating the AlphaBay message board forums; mediating sales disputes among AlphaBay users; promoting AlphaBay on the internet; and providing non-technical assistance to AlphaBay users. In return for his work, Wheeler received a salary in Bitcoin. Throughout his participation in the conspiracy, Wheeler advised the public on how to access AlphaBay and encouraged the public to use the website. Wheeler’s work with AlphaBay continued until early July 2017, when the FBI and its international law enforcement partners shut down the website.
Sentencing for Ronald Wheeler, III, a/k/a Trappy, 24, of Streamwood, Illinois has been scheduled for May 24, 2018 at 2:00 p.m., before U.S. District Judge Leigh M. May.