On November 22, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) arrested a suspected Alphabay vendor. Investigators discovered a source of fake police badges on the darknet. After a brief investigation, authorities busted the 44-year-old Castelmaine man.
The AFP published a report the following day. Bendigo Magistrates Court charged him with four counts of supplying identification information. He manufactured and distributed police and assorted government identification badges. The suspect also sold Borderforce, Aviation and Maritime security passes.
While the AFP released few details at first, The Age, a local news outlet reported the full story. The arrested man was a former Victoria Police officer. He served the force for five years until 2010.
Victoria Police’s e-crime squad and the AFP started investigating James Goris in June. Detective Senior Constable Cameron Pye said Goris became a suspect during darknet sweeps. The e-crime squad noticed that an Alphabay vendor named “piratedeadpool” sold government IDs.
Undercover agents posed as potential customers and began conversing with the suspect. Court documents revealed communication transcripts between the agents and Goris. The vendor’s claim to fame was that he could “steal items at will from police stations.” He claimed he could steal drugs, guns, and case-evidence
Pye noted that police found nothing of the sort at Goris’s home. And that he was only attempting to bolster his reputation by making such claims.
Court documents revealed Goris’s darknet claims:
For the purpose for which they were made, they would absolutely be able to pass their way into a police station. I am absolutely saying they could follow another member in and get a gun. The criminality is only limited by your own imagination.
On July 6, undercover officers bought Victoria Police and AFP identification cards. Along with the IDs, the officers also purchases badge wallets and badges. They paid $4,800 in bitcoin. Police arranged a second transaction of aviation and maritime security identification cards. These IDs, police noted, would allow buyers to access to airports and ports.
The e-crime squad then made their final transaction. They bought another AFP wallet, badge, and ID. Additionally, they purchased another set of Victoria Police IDs.
Following delivery of the last package, the AFP raided Goris’s home. They discovered police badges from various states and territories, badge wallets, blank ID cards, and specialized card printers. Goris also possessed police-issued clothing and incriminating digital evidence.
After the AFP arrested Goris, he told investigators that he contacted Crime Stoppers after every sale. He would give Crime Stoppers the location of the darknet-buyer. Detectives confirmed this upon finding their own Alphabay usernames on Crime Stoppers.
Goris was denied bail because of his “expert skill” in forging official identification. Police believed the man posed a significant flight risk. He is currently in custody and will make his next Bendigo Magistrates’ Court appearance on February 15, 2017.