Accused Silk Road 2.0 Admin Worked As Contract Software Developer For Former Googler’s Secret Startup

If you want to visit Silk Road 2.0 then you will want to know that it was shut down by the feds on 5th November 2014 and the alleged operator “Defcon” has been arrested. The best alternative is Agora Marketplace, it actually has more listings than Silk Road 2.0. Silk Road 3.0 is ALREADY live and there will be more info about it here soon.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace. <<

Blake BenthallBlake Benthall who was arrested for allegedly running the Silk Road 2.0, an illegal online narcotics bazaar, was a contract software developer at Close. There isn’t much known about Close but the company’s CEO, Falson Fatemi describes it as stealth start-up founded by ex-Googlers and supported by New Enterprise Associates, Felicis Ventures and notable personalities like Dave McClure and Mark Cuban among others. Based on the CEO’s descriptions, Close it seems, is seeking to develop software plug-in that helps people make the most of their social network connections.

HandcopClose came to light after Benthall’s arrest. The company makes a brief but dramatic appearance in the Silk Road 2.0 charging documents. These documents state that he hosted his alleged dark web drug bazaar’s server on one of the subdomains of an Internet address belonging to Close. The documents further reveal that this address was being used by Close up till November 6, 2014. Federal investigators managed to snag this server sometime in May 2014 and where able to identify its physical location in a data center outside the US. Federal investigators got their hands on it anyway, took the computer offline and copied its contents to aid them in forensic investigations.

It is during this brief take-over that the site’s administrator ‘Defcon’ who federal agents allege is Benthall, went into a brief panic attack. It is said that his internet service provider put out several messages warning of the Silk Road 2.0 server’s offline status. The documents allege that ‘Defcon’ instructed the internet service provider not to reboot srv2.close.co server as there were critical processes that needed to be watched. Benthall’s former colleagues at Close including the CEO however seem not to be aware that the Silk Road 2.0 server was running on the company’s Close.co domain. The CEO responded on Twitter saying she could not believe the allegations. She further said she had worked with Blake in the past and to her, these allegations seemed out of character.

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Federal Agents Arrest Alleged Operator Of Silk Road 2.0

If you want to visit Silk Road 2.0 then you will want to know that it was shut down by the feds on 5th November 2014 and the alleged operator “Defcon” has been arrested. The best alternative is Agora Marketplace, it actually has more listings than Silk Road 2.0. Silk Road 3.0 is ALREADY live and there will be more info about it here soon.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

Silk Road 2.0The Federal Bureau of Investigations on November 6, 2014 announced the arrest of Blake Benthall who it claimed is also known as ‘Defcon’ for allegedly owning and operating the Silk Road 2.0 website. Silkroad 2.0 was a hidden website that allowed users to buy or sell illegal drugs as well as many other forbidden goods and services without being detected by the authorities. Mr. Benthall was arrested in San Francisco and charged with conspiracy to traffic in illicit drugs, money laundering and computer hacking among other crimes. The Silk Road 2.0 had about 150,000 users who transacted about $8 million worth of drugs and contrabands each month.

Silk RoadAccording to the FBI, an undercover agent of the Homeland Security Investigations managed to infiltrate the website’s support staff. The agent as a result gained access to the website’s private sections and even communicated with ‘Defcon’ on a regular basis. The bureau has been investigating Silk Road 2.0 since it popped up late 2013 to replace the original website that was also taken down by the US authorities. The said undercover agent had been instrumental in running Silk Road 2.0 acting as one of its central organizing figures right from the beginning when the site came alive.

The Silkroad 2.0 website made basic operational security mistakes. It is alleged that Blake used his personal email address, [email protected], to register the servers that run the illegal drugs website. As a result of these breaches, the US government agents were able to identify the physical location of the computers that run the website. This discovery was made in May 2014 after which the government agents continued to monitor everything that happened in the website. The agents were also able to locate the foreign server that hosted the website despite it being masked by a Tor network. The records obtained from the server’s hosting provider identified Mr. Benthall as the administrator of the Silk Road 2.0.

The arrest of Mr. Benthall greatly mirrors that of Mr. Ross Ulbricht, the alleged mastermind of the original Silkroad website. Mr. Ulbricht, who is alleged to be ‘Dead Pirate Roberts’, allegedly operated a criminal enterprise that is very similar to the Silk Road 2.0 in many fronts. Like the predecessor, the Silk Road 2.0 used the tor network to mask its illegal dealings that mainly involved sale of illegal goods and services. The hottest items on sale in the website included illicit drugs like psychedelics, cannabis, ecstasy and opioids. The website had more than 13,000 listings just before it was brought down. The authorities also allege that Mr. Benthall used the moniker, ‘Dead pirate Roberts’ when he first launched the site before allegedly switching to the pseudonym, ‘Defcon’. And like Mr. Ulbricht, Mr. Benthall was also arrested in San Francisco.

Mr. Benthall’s arrest as well as the Silk Road 2.0’s takedown comes in the wake of a worldwide swoop on ‘dark net’ sites. Some 16 masterminds of such sites have been arrested in an exercise that also took down more than 400 ‘dark net’ websites and servers. These efforts are expected to continue so as to arrest even more perpetrators in a bid to rid the Internet of illicit trade and contrabands. The entire exercise is estimated to have affected some 18 countries netting digital currency worth over $1 million, over $250,000 in cash as well as silver, gold and narcotics.

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The Rising Sence Of A Community Among Online Dark Markets

>> Click here to find the Silk Road URL and know how to get to the Silk Road 2.0 <<

silkroad 2.0Internet is one of the most reliable sources of information in the world today. Hundreds if not thousands of people from all across the globe use it to purchase products and services from various online stores.

Over the last one year, there has been a rampant increase in number of people using Silk Road, a dark web, to purchase goods such as drugs. The most plausible reason for this trend is because this site is gaining credibility and trust from the online community.

Simply put, Silk Road is the leading dark online marketplace that you can visit and anonymously purchase drugs at any time. Its reputation and clean track record is clear proof that it deliver on their promises.

Let us look at some factors that fuel growth of this community.

Professionalism: 

Despite the fact that this web is considered dark by the society, the truth of the matter is that they its run by professionals who are very committed and determine to ensure that they meet their clients’ needs amicably. They have also put in place working protocols that help them maintain high professionalism and diligence levels.

Confidentiality: 

Gone are the days when one had to walk into a dark alley to purchase drugs. This dark web enables users from all across the globe to purchase a wide array of products without revealing their true identity and location. They have a concrete privacy policy hence you can rest assured that any information you submit is in safe hands.

Anonymous

Transparency:

To promote their credibility and reputation in the community, this online marketplacehas put in place its own payment processing systems that are 100% secure so chances of fraud are nil. The systems are also monitored 24/7 by experts who have the skills and experience required to lock out any unauthorized access.

Finally, Silk Road offers quality products at an affordable price. They have also established shipping procedures that enables them to transport purchased goods to their customers.

Silk Road

>> Click here to find the Silk Road URL and know how to get to the Silk Road 2.0 <<

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US Government To Auction Off $18m Worth Of Bitcoins

>> Click here to find the Silkroad URL and know how to get to the Silk Road 2.0 <<

The US government has categorically stated that they are going to auction the Silk Road bitcoins that were seized in connection with civil forfeiture band criminal actions against Ulbricht in the Southern District of New York.

Silkroad Bitcoin

In a press release, the US Marshalls have indicated that the auction will take place during a 12 hour period on 27the of June 2014 and bids are now being accepted by emails from registered bidders. Those who want to bid for the bitcoins are already downloading the auction forms from the US Marshall’s official website in readiness for what will definitely be a big day in the United States.

The big question however remains whether the government is right to action the Silk Road bitcoins now that no conviction has been done yet. Those Silk Road bitcoins have already been ordered forfeited by the United States and Ulbricht charged with narcotic trafficking, money laundering and computer hacking. The most worrying part is that Ulbricht has not been convicted or found guilty of all these crimes at the moment yet the Marshalls are already preparing to go ahead with the auction.

Even though the US Government claims to have concrete evidence against the suspects, a problem is bound to arise should the courts rule in favor of the accused. In such a circumstance, the action by the government to auction the bitcoins before conviction will bring up several issues. It will seem as if the government had already convicted the accused even before the court’s verdict.

Silkroad Bitcoin

This move to auction those Silk Road bitcoins is therefore purely a premature one. The US government advisors should have advised the government to wait for the court ruling on the matter before embarking the auction. This auction is set to be carried out on June 27 and a lot of issue s will for sure arise even after the auction should the accused be found innocent.

>> Click here to find the Silkroad URL and know how to get to the Silk Road 2.0 <<

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Bitcoin Exchanges Linked To Silk Road? So the FBI Thinks

Silkroad LogoThe FBI are investigating possible ties between bitcoin exchanges and an online drug market Silk Road, an illegal online market which was closed down by the FBI one year ago. In addition to searching for customer transaction logs from every exchange, both the FBI and prosecutors are investigating whether this exchange as well as others companies may have been involved in the transactions. The investigations have just kicked off and no conclusion has been made as to whether or not these companies were involved in these transactions.

As part of the investigation, the FBI seized a huge cache of Bitcoins, a currency that was used in Silkroad transactions. Authorities say they have managed to seize 144,000 bitcoins, worth $28.5 million at the present exchange rate, making it the largest seizure of that crypto currency to have been seized. The cache is believed to belong to Ross Ulbricht, a founder of the Silk Road. While the FBI did not disclose how they concluded the bitcoins belong to Ross Ulbricht, they were certain they were his.

Silk Road was a notorious online marketplace which allowed drug barons to sell and purchase drugs using bitcoins. Before it was shut down by the authorities, over $1.2 billion worth of trade was conducted on the website exclusively in a virtual currency Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Curency

When the FBI ordered its closure on 2 October 2013, the man allegedly behind it, Ross Ulbricht was arrested and charged for running an illegal business. Authorities claimed they violated money laundering act by allowing their users to purchase drugs and other illegal goods on their website, an offense which carries a sentence of 20 years in jail. Ross was using his laptop in San Francisco at a time of his arrest and authorities were expected to use the laptop for proof he is really the kingpin of Silk Road.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road URL and know how to get to the Silk Road 2.0 <<

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The Silk Road Dealer “SuperTrips” Busted

Cornelis Jan Slomp, a 22-year-old man from Woerden in Netherlands better known by his alias ‘SuperTrips’ used the Silk Road (an underground website) to deal drugs including LSD, ecstasy and cocaine for millions of dollars’ worth of Bitcoins (virtual currency).

Silkroad jail

The Charge

According to a statement issued by his lawyer and U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon, Slomp pleaded guilty to the single drug trafficking conspiracy he was charged with. He was arrested on August, 2013 after a criminal complaint was filed against him. The prosecutors are seeking forfeiture of all alleged proceeds Slomp made from his crimes which is believed to be worth more than 3 million U.S. Dollars.

The Bust

Slomp was arrested at the Miami International Airport en route to a meeting with his co-conspirators. Prosecutors claim that he was planning to ‘spin-off’ his U.S. Silk Road operations to one of them. The 11 co-conspirators who were based in Europe helped him manufacture, pack and ship illegal drugs which bore a question mark as his trademark. He’s in custody and faces a sentence of between 5 years (mandatory minimum) and 40 years (maximum term) in prison.

Activities Monitored

Slomp made more than 10 000 transactions on the Silk Road from which he received about 385 000 Bitcoins. His operations started on March, 2012 and ran to August, 2013 according to undercover FBI agents who had him under vigilance. On April, 2012 U.S. officials seized mailed drugs that were sent from the Netherlands in an otherwise empty VCD case. This incident happened at the O’Hare International Airport, Chicago and Slomp was identified as the sender. Authorities said that they subsequently nabbed a hundred or more similar shipments.

The Plea

Paul Petruzzi, an attorney from Miami who represents Slomp confirmed that his client intended to plead guilty to the charges. Petruzzi said this decision was made after deliberations between the two. The plea will be filed at the prosecutor’s office.

Silkroad agent

>> Click here to find the Silk Road URL and know how to get to the Silk Road 2.0 <<

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The Silk Road Original Creator Latest Legal Proceedings

Ross William Ulbricht was the brains behind a billion-dollar criminal enterprise on The Silk Road site where the buyers used Bitcoins to buy and sell drugs. He of course pled not guilty in a Manhattan Federal Court despite the evidence against him which includes several computer servers. He was however, indicted on four counts, which are operating a narcotics trafficking scheme, computer hacking, money laundering and being the mastermind behind a large criminal enterprise. The Silk Road site was a proven booming black-market bazaar that drug dealers used to distribute illegal drugs and launder millions of dollars in illegal transactions. Ulbricht specifically designed the site to use the Bitcoin-based system of payment in order to effectively conceal the identities and the locations of the active users.

Bitcoin Is not Currency

Bitcoin

This is why he defends himself of the charges of money laundering by stating that only virtual currency was used in all Silk Road transactions and that no real money was used. Bitcoin which was used in the transactions isn’t real money. His lawyer was also quick to point out the ruling by IRS, which stated that Bitcoins are simply property and not currency. Joshua Dratel his lawyer, also stated in writing that Bitcoins which were the only means of payment on the site don’t qualify as “monetary instruments” and therefore can never substantiate the money laundering violation charges.

FBI Claims

This Hidden site Has Been Seized

The FBI claimed that Ulbricht made use of Bitcoins in the site in order to camouflage drug related transactions, murder-for-hire plots and other criminal services. However, Dratel the lawyer dismisses the claims by stating that Ulbricht shouldn’t be liable for any criminal deals carried out by the online customers on the site whether he operated the site or not since he didn’t sell anything himself. He further backs up his defense by saying that no landlord has ever been prosecuted for renting his property to a drug kingpin. Or that no internet service provider has ever faced charges for the use of the service by criminals to carry out online criminal activities. That is how Ulbricht’s lawyer tries to get the case dismissed.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road URL and know how to get to the Silk Road 2.0 <<

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