This is the setup Ogborn allegedly received.US Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas
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While Silk Road has long been shuttered, the Dark Web still thrives.
Sites like Alpha Bay have picked up where others have left off, offering a slew of illegal goods ranging from drugs to forged documents.
On Monday, federal prosecutors in Houston announced the arrest of a 50-year-old man, Cary Lee Ogborn, who was accused of attempting to purchase explosives “for the purposes of injury or destruction of property.” He could face up to a decade in prison.
According to the criminal indictment, the suspect picked up a package last Friday that he believed was a grenade and a stick of dynamite with a wireless detonator. (In fact, it was all inert.) The government claims that Ogborn believed that he had bought the explosives on Alpha Bay for $600 in bitcoins as of earlier this month.
In fact, the criminal complaint states that Ogborn was actually communicating with an undercover federal agent.
Prosecutors indicate that it was extremely poor operational security that did Ogborn in.
“Don’t want to kill, just send message”
According to the complaint, on August 27, Ogborn (under the name “boatmanstv”) wrote to a man who the government refers to as an FBI Online Covert Employee (OCE).
The man was the purported explosives seller and told Ogborn that he did not need a fuse, as he had just purchased some.
The OCE said:
Ok fuse not the best for you job. we get dynamite no problem you use that instead of gas yes? we send you kit from my country for dynamite with trigger you just place under building and go use preset number you call to ignite. simple you know that how we build it so no mistake. all parts they from EU for that so nobody find anything. the trick is getting explosion hot enough to burn that can be difficult. it important to use the right explosive. is building like a house or different there stuff inside or empty you know? sorry we ask it important to make device work you know. if you rather talk email we do that no problem or this work too. we use email [OCE e-mail address]. we wait to hear about that.
Twenty-three minutes later, boatmanstv replied:
This com is fine, I use Multi Hop VPN, no worries.
The building like shed or storage, so yes like a house of wood.
I guess I could use 1/4 stick TNT and gas to make sure it burns, or diesel fuel I may use pressure sprayer to wet down the outside of the building Right before I trigger it to help the burn.
Dont know exactly whats inside but person using for apartment. Person will not be there when set off.
Dont want to kill, just send message.
Boatmanstv said he would send the bitcoins to the OCE on September 5, which he seemingly did.
Five days later, everything was ready.
Sent by OCE Vendor on Sep 10, 2016 at 01:05
hello everything look very nice. We send box that have grenade and a dynamite alarm trigger yes. We send tracking when reship put in box in post. What email we send picture and instruction you know what to expect yes.
Sent by boatmanstv Member on Sep 10, 2016 at 06:53
send to darknetstv@outlook. com So when are you shipping and how long to you think it will take to arrive.
Later that day, the OCE sent a “toy” with the explosive components stuffed inside—a United States Postal Service tracking number soon followed.
Betrayed by a Corvette
Although boatmanstv at one point switched to PGP-encrypted e-mail (which he referred to as “ppg”) using “firstname.lastname@example.org” with the OCE, because his recipient was in fact an FBI agent, that didn’t matter.
The OCE provided the mailing address: Randy Smith, PO Box 263515, Houston, TX 77207, United States.
Meanwhile, on September 8, the USPS then located records showing that the person who registered this PO Box provided a phone number with an 832 area code.
Those same records showed that this man did so with a Georgia driver’s license and a fake car insurance document but provided a real Houston address. USPS officials also determined that the man who used PO Box 263515 drove a “dark-colored” Chevrolet Corvette.
The next day, the FBI dispatched agents to the Houston address, and just two blocks away, they found a boat repair garage marked as “Cary’s Mobile Marine Services.” Inside the garage was a dark Corvette, and painted on the building was nearly the exact same 832 phone number, off by just one digit.
As the complaint continues, the FBI then performed an “analysis” on the email@example.com e-mail address—presumably, Microsoft provided some records.
There, authorities found that whoever had access to this account was e-mailing photos of himself to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A quick search of that e-mail address linked it to the Better Business Bureau directory for a firm called “Your Mobile Boat Dr,” for which Ogborn was listed as the owner.
That company led authorities back to the same address on Mayfair St. in Houston—for Cary’s Mobile Marine Services.
The complaint also suggests that Microsoft and/or the ISP also provided records showing that the “IP address associated with email@example.com” resolves specifically to the specific suite on Mayfair St. for “Your Mobile Boat Doctor.”
On September 16, Ogborn went to retrieve the package and took it back to the boat garage. He opened it about three hours later and was arrested approximately 30 minutes after that.
As Vocativ pointed out, Ogborn’s opsec leaves something to be desired.
In May 2014, he publicly posted a high-resolution, entirely unredacted picture of his passport and wrote that he intended to move to Belize.
Local television station KHOU also reported that Ogborn had previously been arrested for illegal possession of an AR-15 in 2013.
After that episode, Ogborn wrote on Facebook:
Well everybody, l am back, finally, finally a freed rebel, freed from the likes of confinement, freed from terrible food, freed from only seeing ugly men for 90 days. No more, I have caressed soft boobs and felt the warmth only a woman can give.
Back in the grove. Will holler!
Ogborn’s federal public defender, Joshua Lake, did not immediately respond to Ars’ request for comment.