Alleged online drug marketplace Silk Road shut down by FBI

Silk Road allegedly offered various drugs and other services, such as murder for hire.
Silk Road allegedly offered various drugs and other services, such as murder for hire. Credit: Silkroaddrugs.org

U.S. law enforcement authorities have shut down Silk Road, the web marketplace for illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine as well as criminal activities including murder for hire, and arrested its alleged owner, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Wednesday.

The FBI arrested Silk Road owner Ross William Ulbricht, 29, known as “Dread Pirate Roberts,” in San Francisco on Tuesday, according to court filings.

Federal prosecutors in New York charged Ulbricht with one count each of narcotics trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy, according to the filing.

“Silk Road has emerged as the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet today,” FBI agent Christopher Tarbell said in the criminal complaint. According to Tarbell, the site was used by “several thousand drug dealers” to sell “hundreds of kilograms of illegal drugs.”

The site, which had operated since early 2011, also offered tutorials on hacking ATM machines, contact lists for black market connections and counterfeiters, and guns and hit men for sale, according to the charges.

Authorities also seized $3.6 million worth of digital currency Bitcoin, which was used instead of cash or credit cards to complete transactions on Silk Road. The charges against Ulbricht said his website generated sales of more than 9.5 million Bitcoins, roughly equivalent to $1.2 billion.

The raid on Wednesday was not the first time the U.S. government has made arrests related to Silk Road. Earlier this year, authorities in South Carolina arrested Eric Daniel Hughes, who used Silk Road under the name Casey Jones, and charged him in state court with drug possession. The Drug Enforcement Agency seized units of the digital currency Bitcoin, which Hughes allegedly used to purchase drugs from the online market.

Bitcoins, which have been around since 2008, first came under scrutiny by law enforcement officials in mid-2011 after media reports surfaced linking the digital currency to Silk Road.

 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.