The FBI announced that yesterday it arrested Blake Benthall, aka “Defcon,” the alleged owner and operator of Silk Road 2.0. Benthall was apprehended in San Francisco and will be presented today in a federal court in the city before Magistrate Judge Jaqueline Scott Corley. Accordingly, Silk Road 2.0 has been seized as of this post.
“As alleged, Blake Benthall attempted to resurrect Silk Road, a secret website that law enforcement seized last year, by running Silk Road 2.0, a nearly identical criminal enterprise,” Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. “Let’s be clear—this Silk Road, in whatever form, is the road to prison. Those looking to follow in the footsteps of alleged cybercriminals should understand that we will return as many times as necessary to shut down noxious online criminal bazaars. We don’t get tired.”
The arrest comes roughly a year after the feds arrested Ross Ulbricht, the alleged original “Dread Pirate Roberts” and operator of Silk Road 1.0. According to the FBI, Benthall is being charged with “one count of conspiring to commit narcotics trafficking, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison; one count of conspiring to commit computer hacking, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; one count of conspiring to traffic in fraudulent identification documents, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison; and one count of money laundering conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.”
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