Father Joins Son in Jail Over Bitcoin Drugs Ring

By Mark Hunter

1 day agoMon Jan 15 2024 09:46:55


Reading Time: 2 minutes

  • A Maryland father will join his son in jail after being busted helping him to launder his son’s drug money through Bitcoin
  • Joseph Farace, aged 72, has been sentenced to 19 months in jail for money laundering, joining his son Ryan, 38, who received a 54-month sentence in January 2023
  • Police seized $133 million worth of bitcoin from Ryan in 2021

A father has joined his son in jail after he was implicated in his son’s Bitcoin drugs racket. Joseph Farace, 72, will figuratively join his son Ryan, 38, behind bars after the former was jailed for 19 months for money laundering. Ryan was sentenced to 54 months in prison in January 2023 over his much more active role in the scam, with his father moving the illegally acquired bitcoin to exchanges for liquidation while Ryan was still behind bars. Farace junior had been involved in dark web drug sales where he received over 9,000 bitcoins between 2013 and 2017.

XANAXMAN Orchestrated Bitcoin Sales Behind Bars

Ryan was convicted in 2018 for manufacturing and distributing alprazolam tablets, commonly known as “Xanax,” through darknet marketplaces in exchange for bitcoin. Investigations by various law enforcement agencies, including the DEA, IRS-CI, and local police, revealed that Ryan, using the alias “XANAXMAN,” had received over 9,138 Bitcoin from darknet marketplaces for four years worth of sales.

While just a year into his sentence, Ryan conspired with his father, Joseph, and others to launder additional proceeds through a series of financial transactions including Bitcoin. Notably, in 2019, Ryan transferred approximately 71 bitcoin from his digital wallets to online exchanges and retailers, also sending over $3,300 worth of gift cards to his father from the drug proceeds. Communication about these transactions occurred through a contraband cell phone in prison, using an encrypted email service.

Cops Seized $133 Million

In August 2020, Ryan instructed his father to transfer more than 2,874 Bitcoin to a third party for the purpose of moving funds into a foreign bank account, with Ryan sharing the receiving address by inscribing it into the back cover of a prison library book and mailing it to his father. As detailed in their plea agreements, the pair discussed the use of Bitcoin in coded language through emails and phone calls, with federal agents able to seize the 2,874-bitcoin transfer on February 10, 2021, worth $133 million at the time.

Additionally, on May 11, 2021, the government seized 58 bitcoin, also linked to Ryan Farace’s drug trafficking activities.

Joseph Farace will now face 19 months in federal prison, followed by two years of supervised release, for his actions in helping his son launder the proceeds of his ill-gotten gains.