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Leader of Silk Road 2.0 Arrested and Site Shuttered
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crime, tech & science news, Blake Benthall

Summary: The leader of Silk Road 2.0, Blake Benthall, has been arrested by the FBI and the website has been shuttered, according to a release. 

The online drug market known as Silk Road 2.0 has been seized by the FBI, according to The Huffington Post.

  
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Blake Benthall was also arrested in connection with the case. Benthall is the reported mastermind of the operation.

The site let users buy and sell drugs on the internet.

To read more about Silk Road, click here.

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Federal authorities described the website as “one of the most extensive, sophisticated, and widely used criminal marketplaces on the Internet today.”

It appeared online in November of 2013 when an earlier version was shut down. Authorities said that as of September 2014, the website was “generating sales of at least approximately $8 million per month and had approximately 150,000 active users.”



Benthall was arrested in San Francisco on Wednesday, but will be charged in the Southern District of New York because the investigation was run by the FBI branch in New York and the Office of Homeland Security Investigations.

To read more stories about the Office of Homeland Security, click here.

According to the release, an undercover agent from Homeland Security “successfully infiltrated the support staff involved in the administration of the Silk Road 2.0 website, and was given access to private, restricted areas of the site.”

Benthall was the second person in charge for Silk Road 2.0 until December of 2013, which is when the leader stepped down following the arrests of the operators of Silk Road 1.0.

Benthall went by the name Defcon and on December 28, 2013 said, “I intend to prove to you that leading this movement forward is my top priority in life, and that I will pour any time and energy necessarily into ensuring its success. While other admins may run away when calamities strike — I’m ready to fight right here alongside you.”

A report said that a hacker stole $1.4 million in bitcoins from Silk Road in September, which is when Benthall spoke with an undercover agent about using his own bitcoins to restart the website.

To read more about bitcoin, click here.

Benthall will be charged with conspiring to commit narcotics trafficking, conspiring to commit computer hacking, money-laundering conspiracy and conspiring to traffic in fraudulent identification documents.

Read more about narcotics trafficking crimes here.

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Image credit: heavy.com



 

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