COURT DOC: Operator Of “Silk Road 2.0” Website Charged In Manhattan Federal Court
DoJ announced today the arrest of BLAKE BENTHALL, a/k/a ‘Defcon,’ in connection with his operation and ownership of the Silk Road 2.0 website, a hidden website designed to enable its users to buy and sell illegal drugs and other unlawful goods and services anonymously and beyond the reach of law enforcement.
Since about December 2013, BENTHALL, a/k/a ‘Defcon,’ has secretly owned and operated an underground website known as ‘Silk Road 2.0’ one of the most extensive, sophisticated, and widely used criminal marketplaces on the Internet today. The website has operated on the Tor network, a special network of computers on the Internet, distributed around the world, designed to conceal the true IP addresses of the computers on the network and thereby the identities of the networks users. Since its launch in November 2013, Silk Road 2.0 has been used by thousands of drug dealers and other unlawful vendors to distribute hundreds of kilograms of illegal drugs and other illicit goods and services to buyers throughout the world, as well as to launder millions of dollars generated by these unlawful transactions. As of September 2014, Silk Road 2.0 was generating sales of at least approximately $8 million per month and had approximately 150,000 active users. (Source: U.S. Department of Justice)