Paradox
©
Fisana

Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Drug Dealer Nabbed with IP logs on USPS tracking site.


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 niemandgeist

niemandgeist

    You make me happy in a manic sort of way :)

  • OG VIP
  • 2,703 posts

Donator


Awards Bar:

Posted 17 May 2015 - 08:17 AM

http://arstechnica.c...his-ip-address/

 

 

A federal drug case in Massachusetts has shed new light on how the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) law enforcement unit uses something as simple as IP logs on the postal tracking website to investigate crimes.

 

According to a December 2013 affidavit of an ongoing federal criminal case in Rockland, Massachusetts, one alleged drug dealer named Harold Bates was found out simply by the digital trail he left on the USPS' Track n’ Confirm website. The affidavit was added to the court docket in January 2015, and the case was first reported by Motherboard.

 

Bates was charged back in March 2014 with conspiracy to import methylone (also known as "molly"), importation of methylone, and possession with intent to distribute methylone, among other crimes. Last month, the judge in the case ruled against Bates in his attempt to supress evidence seized in those packages.

 

The judge’s memorandum and order explains that postal investigators found 500 grams of a substance that turned out to be methylone in a package to be delivered in Hollywood, Florida. That statement could suggest that investigators found the suspicious package first and then manually checked IP logs to see if anyone had been searching for tracking information. Once they located Bates’ IP address, they may have checked to see if it had been used to search for other packages.

 

But in the affidavit, United States Postal inspector Stephen Dowd seems to imply that this link happened in a more automated fashion.

 

As he wrote, "The USPS database reflected that an individual using a computer or other device with IP address 75.67.6.214 accessed the USPS Track 'n Confirm website to track the progress of both the Florida Parcel and Bates Parcel #1."

Neither the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) nor Bates’ attorneys responded to Ars’ multiple requests for comment.

Ahmed Ghappour, a law professor at the University of California, Hastings, told Ars that he has never seen a case like this before. "What’s most bizarre about this case is the tip-off by algorithm," he said. "It seems that the investigation was triggered by a system that mines Track N’ Confirm user-data in order to detect suspicious activity."

 

"The Dowd affidavit is very clear that Postal Inspectors discovered a connection between packages delivered to Florida and Massachusetts before initiating contact and obtaining consent to search the Florida package," Ghappour said. "The affidavit is not clear whether the mere act of tracking packages addressed to different cities was sufficient to trigger the investigation or whether other factors, such as foreign return address, came into play."

You’ve got mail from China

The affidavit provides further detail on how Bates was investigated.

 

Once the USPIS found the matching IP addresses, it quickly determined that they belonged to a Comcast IP block. After requesting Comcast to hand over subscriber data, investigators found that the subscriber linked to the IP address at the time was someone named Matthew Demaggio of Rockland, Massachusetts.

 

After checking further records, the USPIS determined that Demaggio has been in jail in Massachusetts since September 2013 due to an armed robbery conviction. The USPIS then checked what postal mail was being delivered to the Rockland address and found that it was being addressed to Bates.

 

Dowd continued:

I have verified through a USPS letter carrier that Bates regularly received mail at the Bates Residence for at least the past six months through the present. I also reviewed records maintained at the Rockland Post Office and determined that five prior Express Mail parcels from either China or Hong Kong had arrived addressed to Bates at the Bates Residence since October 21, 2013.

For three of those packages, Bates had called ahead to the post office and arranged to come pick them up in person rather than wait for them to be delivered. So Dowd and his colleagues anticipated that he might do this again.

On November 13, 2013, Bates Parcel #1 arrived at the Rockland post office, and Dowd arranged for a controlled delivery—he secretly watched Bates arrive in the building and pick it up.

A dog named Lucky

There, Bates picked up his package and paid for a postal scale with $50 in cash. He and a woman that he was with drove to East Water Street in Rockland, where Massachusetts State Police (MSP) were surveilling his residence. The MSP watched as Bates placed two large white plastic garbage bags in a dumpster behind his building. Once Bates and the woman drove away, the MSP retrieved the bags.

 

Inside the bags was a host of evidence suggesting that Bates was involved in some sort of business from China.

By December 2013, the two USPIS packages from China had arrived, and both had been tracked with the same Comcast IP address. Updates were being sent to the e-mail address [email protected], the address previously associated with package tracking.

 

Dowd called an officer in the nearby Braintree Police Department to bring his drug-sniffing dog "Lucky."

Dowd continued:

I traveled with the two parcels to the USPS facility in Braintree, Massachusetts, where I placed the Parcel #2 and Parcel #3 at different ends of a large loading dock. I also placed six other innocent parcels among the two suspect parcels as controls.

Officer Seibert advised that upon reaching Parcel #2 and Parcel #3, "Lucky" reacted in a positive manner for the scent of controlled substances. No further indications were observed in the search area. Based on my training and experience, I know that a positive alert means that the parcels contain narcotics or were recently in close proximity to narcotics.

Dowd then "assumed the role of letter carrier" and attempted to deliver the packages to a woman named Julie Carlozzi at a different address on Maple Street, just a half mile away from Bates’ East Water Street residence. When Carlozzi didn’t respond, Dowd left a notice of a missed delivery. Less than an hour later, Carlozzi called the post office and said she would come pick them up in person.

 

When she picked up the packages, she was followed by undercover law enforcement. She drove to a nearby Rite Aid where she met Bates, who took the packages from her and put them in his car.

 

Based on these observations, the authorities sought and received a sealed warrant to search Bates’ packages and his home, and USPIS planned for a controlled delivery of two more packages for Carlozzi.

 

The bust took place the next day, on December 7, 2013. Carlozzi picked up her packages and drove to the same Rite Aid, where she again met Bates. The surveillance tail lost Carlozzi while another group stayed with Bates. After he stopped for gas, law enforcement made their move to arrest him.

 

Bates was arrested and taken to the Rockland Police Department, where he was interviewed. He waived his Miranda Rights and told the officers that he "received an e-mail from someone in China" and began ordering molly from that person; he paid for it with Western Union money transfers. He also consented to a search of his laptop and iPhone and gave officers the passwords to his e-mail and Skype accounts.

 

Bates’ trial is set to begin in federal court in Boston on August 10, 2015.

 

Of course, it's always risky trying to import stuff to your country that's coming from across international borders.


Edited by niemandgeist, 17 May 2015 - 08:18 AM.

  • TurkeyRanch, Heirloom , papa_legba and 1 other like this

#2 Sidestreet

Sidestreet

    May your tracks be lost...

  • App Administrator
  • 8,588 posts

Donator


Awards Bar:

Posted 17 May 2015 - 09:50 AM

 

Ahmed Ghappour, a law professor at the University of California, Hastings, told Ars that he has never seen a case like this before. "What’s most bizarre about this case is the tip-off by algorithm," he said. "It seems that the investigation was triggered by a system that mines Track N’ Confirm user-data in order to detect suspicious activity."

 

This is something to pay attention to...

 

You can be sure that they're getting more adept at investigating RC imports.  At this point I think I would feel safer with a commercial carrier than USPS despite the warrant requirement.  I don't even like getting books delivered by the post office anymore, after my copy of The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide was delivered cut wide open with the title showing for anyone to see.  Fuckers.


Edited by Sidestreet, 17 May 2015 - 09:51 AM.

  • AGAMA, TurkeyRanch, wildedibles and 3 others like this

#3 papa_legba

papa_legba

    Mycotopiate

  • Expired Member
  • 365 posts

Donator

Posted 17 May 2015 - 10:28 AM

WOW.... that's a lot of data to think about
  • AGAMA likes this

#4 wildedibles

wildedibles

    Naturalist

  • OG VIP
  • 8,288 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 18 May 2015 - 02:39 AM

Living in Canada I always worry about stuff getting threw the border tons of rules even if I am not importing stuff like that

put it this way lol I had a package being held at the border it was Oyster mycillium it stayed there for a week or 2 before they let it threw lol but the spore syringe got right threw with no issues ;)

I never check tracking if it gets here it gets here but I do not import this type of thing worried about the lucky dogs finding the good stuff lol I know how good dogs can be and they have them at the borders smelling anything they want them to smell

I had a dog that smelled weed out it was pretty funny when friends came over she would smell their pockets and sit at their feet with one paw on the pocket ;) he buddy what kinda good stuff do you have to smoke ;) ?? some people actually tried to lie to me but my dog knew the truth ;)


  • Sidestreet, TurkeyRanch, Juthro and 1 other like this

#5 Sidestreet

Sidestreet

    May your tracks be lost...

  • App Administrator
  • 8,588 posts

Donator


Awards Bar:

Posted 18 May 2015 - 04:37 AM

 

I had a dog that smelled weed out it was pretty funny when friends came over she would smell their pockets and sit at their feet with one paw on the pocket ;) he buddy what kinda good stuff do you have to smoke ;) ?? some people actually tried to lie to me but my dog knew the truth ;)

 

AwwwwWWWW That's adorable.  "Good dog!"


  • wildedibles and Spooner like this

#6 wildedibles

wildedibles

    Naturalist

  • OG VIP
  • 8,288 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 18 May 2015 - 10:51 PM

Ya good dog :) she loved the training a German Shepard I am so glad she was on the right side :)

Haha the dog I have now she smells out bolete mushrooms in the woods she runs ahead and points with her nose and barks then off to the next one to wait for us ;) ....she tries to step on the Amanitas tho lol I think she smells something that is no good in them cause even the Amanita muscaria should be dried first or they will make you sick


Edited by wildedibles, 18 May 2015 - 10:55 PM.


#7 I_am_me

I_am_me

    Odderator

  • Honorary Former Staff
  • 2,228 posts

Posted 19 May 2015 - 01:52 PM

Piece of shit trying to sell Methylone deserves it. "Molly" my ass, fuck him. Him going down is great harm reduction for anyone that he knows, Karma is a bitch. 

And if anyone is surprised about this, why be? They would have got his ass anyway with a controlled delivery just like they did to people 10 years ago. Mail order drugs is the best way to wind up in jail right next to standing on a street corner slangin'. Hell, street corners are even safer in my opinion. Catching mail order drug dealers is like fishin a barrel. Sad but true. 


Edited by I_am_me, 19 May 2015 - 01:56 PM.

  • Hash_Man, papa_legba and niemandgeist like this

#8 Ovoideocystidiata

Ovoideocystidiata

    Mycotopiate

  • Expired Member
  • 370 posts

Posted 08 November 2015 - 12:31 AM

there is a right way to do anything :wink:

 

i just noticed this post is kind of old, my mistake.


Edited by Ovoideocystidiata, 08 November 2015 - 12:32 AM.





Like Mycotopia? Become a member today!