College kids using Bitcoin to pay for 'huge drug deals,' prosecutor says
An Iowa man has been arrested and accused of selling shipments of narcotics and other drugs to two Ohio college students, who bought the drugs using the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
Authorities arrested Anthony Scott Boeckholt, 42, on Jan. 29 at his home in Forest City, Iowa, according to a news release from the Athens County, Ohio, Prosecutor's Office.
Boeckholt has been charged in Athens County court with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first-degree felony. He is being held in Iowa and awaiting extradition to Ohio, the release states.
Boeckholt sold the drugs between Jan. 1, 2016, and Jan. 23, 2018, according to the release. Law enforcement including the Forest City Police Department, Fairfield-Hocking-Athens Major Crimes Unit and Athens County Prosecutor's Office conducted several search warrants on Boeckholt last week, the release states.
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"Ohio is in the middle of an opiate crisis, and this suspect in Iowa was using college kids to traffic thousands of dollars in narcotics," Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said in the release.
Authorities began investigating Boeckholt after the arrest of the two Athens college students for drug trafficking. The students told investigators they used Bitcoin to buy and sell drugs on the dark web, the release states.
Investigators examined communications between the two students and Boeckholt, the release said. Boeckholt is accused of sending "many large shipments" of drugs to the students, according to the release.
"The secretive nature of the dark web and cryptocurrency allows huge drug deals to be made without a trace," Blackburn said in the release. "This means that anything purchased on the dark web may not be what it appears, leading to fentanyl-laced narcotics and other more severe substances."
Blackburn said in the release that drugs connected to this investigation led to at least two Ohio University student overdoses in 2017. The release did not say whether those overdoses were fatal.
Prosecutors expect to charge additional people in Iowa and Ohio in connection with the case, the release states.