Accused Darknet Marketplace Operator Files to Reopen Bond Hearing, Citing New Evidence

News | June 21, 2024 By:

On Sunday, June 9, 2024, Alan Bill filed a motion in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri to have his bond reconsidered.

Bill was arrested on December 15, 2023, at the Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey by agents with the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations. In an indictment, a grand jury charged Bill with ten felonies: conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, four counts of distribution of a controlled substance, conspiracy to commit identity theft and fraud related to identification documents, identity theft, aggravated identity theft, misuse of a passport and money laundering conspiracy.

The complaint and the indictment accuse Bill, also known as “Vend0r” and “KingdomOfficial,” of helping to set up and run Kingdom Market, which had over 25,000 active listings. The market opened in March 2021 and sold illegal drugs and unlicensed pharmaceuticals, stolen identities, credit card information, counterfeit money, computer malware, and fraudulent identity documents including passports and drivers licenses from Missouri and other states.

In the motion, Bill’s attorney Lenka Droscova argues that Bill does not pose a flight risk and that the evidence against him is not as conclusive as the prosecution claims. Droscova presented new evidence and information that was not previously available to the court during the initial January bond hearing where Bill’s release was denied.

Some of the key arguments in the defense motion include offering over half a million dollars in real estate assets owned by Bill’s parents as security should he violate bond conditions. The properties are in Bratislava, Slovakia, and deed documents are included as exhibits. Bill is also offering to pay for private security and ankle monitoring at his own expense to assure the court of his whereabouts at all times.

In challenging the strength of the evidence, Droscova submitted an affidavit from defense forensic expert Eduard Jenco stating that the prosecution failed to provide original evidentiary files and only turned over indirect reproductions that are not suitable for a proper forensic examination. Jenco also found issues with the conclusions drawn by linking Bill to the Kingdom administrator through bitcoin transaction clustering and an IP address. Clustering techniques for tracing cryptocurrency transactions like bitcoin have low accuracy rates, according to the expert.

Additionally, newly obtained records show Bill has no criminal history in Slovakia and owned a legally operating air conditioning and cryptocurrency business before his arrest. Medical documents indicate Bill and his family members have health issues requiring his support. The defense is arguing Bill’s ongoing detention is causing undue hardship.

Another key argument made is that unlike what was previously understood by the court, Slovakia does extradite its citizens to the U.S. according to an existing bilateral extradition treaty and EU agreement. Evidence of a past extradition case is cited. The defense has also submitted proof that Bill has pending lawful status in the U.S. through a U-Visa victim application unrelated to the criminal charges.

The motion requests that the court reevaluate the bond for Bill given the new evidence and information presented regarding the strength of the case, his community ties, and the likelihood of flight.

Please contact BlockTribune for access to a copy of this filing.