The FBI has announced the arrest of another key player from the Silk Road 2.0 marketplace.
Richard Farrell, operating under the name of “DoctorClu” on the website, was arrested in Seattle. He is charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine.
Farrell allegedly was one of several administrators for the site, approving new staff and vendors and organizing a denial of service attack on a competitor.
Silk Road 2.0 launched in November 2013 to replace the original Silk Road, which was shut down weeks earlier and its alleged mastermind arrested. The 2.0 version sought to revive the anonymous sale of illegal goods with bitcoin. As of last September, the site is believed to have generated $8 million in monthly sales and have 150,000 active users, approaching the successes of its predecessor. Last November, the site was shut down and its operator was arrested as part of Operation “Onymous.”
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A search warrant executed at Farrell’s home turned up $35,000 in cash, silver bullion and various types of drug paraphernalia.
The case is being jointly investigated by multiple law enforcement agencies. Brad Bench, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Seattle, said:
“The coordinated efforts of U.S. and international law enforcement agencies to disrupt anonymous black market websites continues to pay off with this arrest. It is one of HSI’s top priorities to shutdown these hidden websites and bring their criminal operators and customers to justice.”
On Silk Road 2.0, Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara previously commented, “Let’s be clear – this Silk Road, in whatever form, is the road to prison.”