Federal Agents Raid Home of Arizona Bitcoin Trader

A bitcoin advocate and trader based in Arizona was arrested last week by federal authorities, according to local reports.

Reports from websites include Freedom’s Phoenix and Phoenix New Times indicate that Thomas Costanzo was arrested on 20th April for unlawful possession of ammunition stemming from a prior conviction. The arrest resulted from a home raid led by the US Department of Homeland Security.

Yet warrant documents obtained by Freedom’s Phoenix suggest that authorities are investigating other aspects of Costanzo’s activities, including his use or sale of digital currencies including bitcoin, ethereum and dash.

Costanzo, who uses the moniker “Morpheus Titania” online, operates a bitcoin-centered website that was updated as of 3rd April. According to the site, Costanzo has been a full-time bitcoin trader for the past three years, while also selling bitcoin miners and ATMs.

One of the warrant documents approves the search for “digital currency including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, or other digital coin ‘altcoin’, or any other financial instrument believed to be proceeds of money laundering or drug sales”.

Further along, the warrant identifies records for “digital Bitcoin transactions” and devices capable of retaining “virtual currency applications [and] crypto-currency wallet applications” as other items for seizure.

A complaint and subsequent indictment filed in the US District Court for the District of Arizona, however, only account for the allegedly unlawful possession of ammunition. New Times suggested in its report that additional charges could be filed, but its unclear at this time whether that will happen.

According to Freedom’s Phoenix, Costanzo is scheduled to appear at a detention hearing on 27th April.

Police car image via Shutterstock 

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