French drug dealer in US beard contest gets 20 years’ prison

MIAMI (AP) — A Frenchman who was arrested when he arrived in the U.S. for a world beard-growing championship has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for online drug trafficking using the alias “OxyMonster.”

The sentence was imposed Tuesday by a Miami federal judge on 36-year-old Gal Vallerius. He pleaded guilty in June to drug conspiracy and money laundering convictions.

The drugs include online sales worldwide of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, oxycodone and fentanyl.

The Drug Enforcement Administration says Vallerius was already under investigation when he was detained in Atlanta in 2017 on his way to the World Beard and Mustache Championships in Austin, Texas.

Court documents say Vallerius used a browser that conceals a user’s true identity and was part of the Dream Market, a marketplace for illegal narcotics and drug paraphernalia.

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