ANNOUNCEMENT: Well it has happened! Another Silkroad Darknet Market has spawned after the demise of Silkroad 2.0. The new site is called Silkroad Reloaded and is utilizing different technology than its predecessors therefore a new guide for Silkroad Reloaded will be coming soon. In the meantime Agora Marketplace is still alive and kicking bigger than ever with more listings than Silkroad 2.0.
Between 2011 and 2013, the web’s controversial side seemed to show more deeply than ever. Alleged Silk Road mastermind and his team of administrators made over $80 million dollars in commissions for facilitating the sale of illegal items, mostly drugs online. It’s estimated that illegal goods worth $1.2 billion dollars traded.
A simple Google search for the keyword “Silk Road” led agents from the Internal Revenue Services and officers from the Department of Homeland Security to the alleged mastermind of the Silkroad site in 2013. IRS agent Gary Alford directly entered “Silk Road” into the Google search bar and looked for a log dating back to when the site first made hits online. Subsequent follow-up revealed that a user by the name Altoid had posted on a forum expressing a desire to purchase an upcoming website. Follow up chats revealed that the username connected to an email address with the tag [email protected]
Armed with a search warrant, officers obtained all the information in the address, including emails dating back to the inception of Silk Road. More clues helped tie the alleged operator of the marketplace to illegal dealings in this notorious section of the internet also known as the dark web. The officers found an email with the image of Ross Ulbricht, sent as an attachment to a friend. His LinkedIn profile also alluded to his “eBay for drugs” when he talked about “running an economy independent from the forces of coercion”. Many emails in the address linked the account to Facebook and ultimately to Silk Road.
In October 2013, the officers arrested Ross Ulbricht in a library with his laptop, where he was running administrative activities for the site. The defendant claims that he left Silk Road soon after inception and rejoined soon before the arrest, and, for this reason, he did not take part in its illegal activities.