John Khuu, 27, appeared in a Tyler federal court on Thursday and has been indicted for conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Khuu is alleged to have conspired with others to launder money from his drug trafficking organization through cryptocurrency using primarily Bitcoin. He allegedly “distributed pharmaceutical pills and other controlled substances on dark web markets to customers across the U.S.”
During the conspiracy, Khuu and his co-conspirators are accused of laundering more than $5.35 million. Officials said customers paid for their purchases by transferring cryptocurrency, “usually Bitcoin,” from the dark web market to one of Khuu’s vendor accounts.
“Khuu and his co-conspirators traded the Bitcoin for U.S. currency and laundered the proceeds through hundreds of transactions and dozens of financial accounts,” officials said.
Khuu was indicted for money laundering in East Texas on May 18, and two counts of unlawful importation of a controlled substance on Aug. 17 in California. He was arrested at his California home on Aug. 19.
“If convicted, Khuu faces up to 20 years in federal prison on each charge,” officials said.
On Thursday, a Tyler judge ordered Khuu to be detained pending trial.