Bitcoin Blogger Arrested: “God Says I Can Use Bitcoin Every Day”

Morgan Rockcoons, a Las Vegas crypto blogger, is due in court following his early February arrest by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The Feb. 9 arrest included charges of money laundering and the illegal operation of a money transmittance business without an official license.

Rockcoons is soliciting financial support on Twitter, as he believes his legal defense will cost upwards of $150,000.

Believing that his arrest represents the government’ anti-regulatory stance on cryptocurrencies, Rockcoons said: “This is a attempt to redefine the regulation and the law…Bitcoin is my religion…God says I can use bitcoin everyday.”

Rockcoons, who goes by the names “Metaballo” and “Morgan Rockwell” runs cryptocurrency education website Bitcoin, Inc. It has no business relation with the digital currency.

According to court records Rockcoons posted online and on his Twitter page, Rockcoons gave an undercover officer 10 Bitcoins in exchange for $14,500 between the dates of Dec. 30, 2016 through Jan. 8, 2017.

The Bitcoins would have been worth a little over $9,200 at the time of Rockcoons’ exchanges with the undercover officer.

The crux of the money-laundering charge against Rockcoons hinges on the allegation that Rockcoons was informed by the undercover officer that the cash that was to be exchanged for Bitcoins was raised by the distribution and manufacture of equipment designed to produce hash oil.

Hash oil contains tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the active psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, which remains classified as a Schedule I drug by the federal government.

“Someone bought a machine that makes cannabis oil with the BTC they purchased from me. I guess I’m not allowed to sell Bitcoin as a U.S. citizen for cash especially if [responsibility for] what people do with that money lies on me,” said Rockcoons.

Serious jeopardy

Rockcoons acknowledges that the undercover officer informed him that the exchanged money was used to purchase a “medical hash machine.”

He was also charged for the illegal operation of a money transmittance business without an official license registration in Southern California.

To operate a money transmittance business legally, Rockcoons would have had to register with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, also known as FinCEN.

ICE is the investigations unit for the United States Department of Homeland Security, suggesting that Rockcoons may be in some serious legal jeopardy if he convicted of these charges.

The arrest warrant for Rockcoons was issued on Nov. 8, 2017 by the Southern District of California, but Rockcoons was not arrested until Feb. 9 at his Las Vegas, Nevada home.

Rockcoons claims to have been camping in Mendocino National Forest in California at the time of the alleged exchange and “living like a mountain man.”

Forest fires and flooding in the area necessitated him going back home, where he was arrested.

Rockcoons was arraigned on Feb. 22, 2018 at the San Diego Superior Court in California.