Frenchman in US beard contest pleading guilty in drug case

A Frenchman arrested when he arrived in the United States for a world beard-growing championship is set to plead guilty in Miami federal court to drug charges.

Court records show a plea hearing is scheduled Tuesday for 36-year-old Gal Vallerius on drug conspiracy and money laundering charges. Prosecutors say he orchestrated online sales of cocaine, methamphetamine and oxycodone using the alias “OxyMonster.”

The Drug Enforcement Administration says in court documents that Vallerius was under investigation when he was detained in Atlanta in 2017 while en route to the World Moustache and Beard Championships in Austin, Texas. He had entered the full-beard category.

Authorities 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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