Seattle. June 3rd, 2016. Brian Farrell, operating Silk Road 2.0 under the alias “DoctorClu,” was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard Jones to 8 years in prison as filed under case No. 15-mj-00016.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.
Founder of the original Silk Road underground drug marketplace in early 2011, Ross Ulbricht aka “Dread Pirate Roberts,” was sentenced to life in prison back in May 2015. The second version of the site was launched in November 2013 weeks after authorities had shut down the original darknet site and seized its creator.
Blake Benthall, the alleged operator of Silk Road 2.0 known as “Defcon,” was arrested in the year 2014 but denied creating the successor darknet site. However, its second-in-command staff administrator has admitted to the charges against him.
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Brian Farrell was arrested in January 2015, and during the search, federal agents discovered three handguns, drug paraphernalia, a myriad of prescription medications, computer media, 20 silver bullion bars with a $3,900 monetary value and cash amounting to $35,000. The silver and dollar evidence will be forfeited to the government in addition to the prison sentence.
He admitted his involvement with the second iteration of the darknet site when the authorities searched his Washington home ensuing Operation Onymous, an international crackdown that targeted suspected illicit marketplaces and various other Tor hidden services in the darknet.
The sentence followed months after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the distribution of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine in March this year. These charges typically carry a minimum term of 5 years in prison.
The Department of Justice revealed in a 2015 press release that Silk Road 2.0 has amassed approximately $8 million generated sales per month. It had around 150,000 users who were granted the freedom to buy anonymously and sell illicit goods and services including drugs and computer hacking tools using the digital currency bitcoin.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Woods has stated that the Silk Road is a threat to public safety and health, as the platform expands a serious drug market throughout the country and the world. In line with this is a clear message from the government that such cyber crimes are bound to be faced with serious penalties.