In some countries, being involved in bitcoin is not necessarily a good thing. This is especially true in regions where free speech is opposed. However, US residents are not necessarily safe from harm either. An Arizona-based bitcoin trader had his home raided last week. However, this had nothing to do with bitcoin trading, but rather the individual’s unlawful ammunition collection.
Federal Agents Show An Interest in Bitcoin
When first reading about the story on the Phoenix New Times website, one would think this raid is related to a darknet user buying ammunition with bitcoin. While it is possible this may be part of the story, it becomes evident pretty quickly something more is at stake. The Federal agents were well aware of Costanzo’s unlawful possession of ammunition, but that is not all they were interested in.
In fact, the warrant documents obtained by Freedom’s Phoenix suggest there is a lot more at stake. The investigation is not focusing on the possession of ammunition itself, but rather Costanzo’s other activities on the internet. One of those habits revolves around bitcoin and altcoin trading. To be more specific, he is involved in trading Bitcoin, Ether, and Dash, three of the most prominent cryptocurrencies in the ecosystem right now.
Although the trading of cryptocurrencies is not illegal, it appears Constanzo is involved in other cryptocurrency-related businesses as well. Evidence suggests he has been selling bitcoin mining hardware and ATMs as well. Once again, there is nothing wrong with that, although it is unclear if he needs a license to do so in the state of Arizona. That could be part of the reason why the federal agents have shown such a keen interest in him.
What is rather troublesome is how the federal agents had a warrant allowing them to search for digital currencies in his possession. To be more specific, the warrant mentions the agents look for any financial instrument that could be a proceed of drug sales or money laundering. So far, it remains unclear if any, drugs were confiscated during the search, although it is not unlikely. Having federal agents seize cryptocurrency assets is never a good thing though.
The last time a significant amount of drug-related bitcoins were confiscated by federal agents, two of the investigators attempted to steal a large amount of bitcoin. It is unclear how many coins have been seized by the agents during the raid, although more information will be revealed in the coming days. This once again goes to show one should not use bitcoin for nefarious activities, as it is not an anonymous payment method.
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