Key person behind Silk Road successor site sentenced to 8 years

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By Larry Banks

A man from Washington state was sentenced last week to eight years in jail for his role helping to manage the successor to the Silk Road website, an online black market selling illegal drugs and other goods.

Brian Farrell, who is reportedly a staff member for Silk Road 2.0, was sentenced by US District Judge Richard Jones in Seattle after pleading guilty in March to charges of conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.

Farrell, aged twenty-seven, was arrested in January this year as the trial was already underway of Ross Ulbricht, creator of the first version of hte site, which he apparently ran under the alias “Dread Pirate Roberts”.

Ulbricht, thirty-two, was sentenced in May to life in jail after a jury in Manhattan found him guilty on charges which included distributing illegal drugs.

Silk Road 2.0 was launched in 2013, just weeks after the original Silk Road website was shut down and Ulbricht was arrested.

Like the original, version 2.0 allowed anyone to anonymously buy and sell drugs, hacking tools and other illegal items using bitcoins.

In November 2014, authorities in Manhattan announced that Silk Road 2.0 had been shut down and that the operator, Blake Benthall, was arrested. Prosecutors say he operated the website under the name “Defcon”.

Farrell was apparently a key assistant to Benthall and part of several online administrators and forum moderators.

SOURCE: Reuters.

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