Alleged Silk Road 2.0 'key assistant' charged

Brian Richard Farrell is accused of being a key assistant to the alleged operator of Silk Road 2.0

A 26-year-old man has been charged with three counts of conspiracy for his alleged role in running Silk Road 2.0, which launched shortly after the demise of the first iteration of the infamous underground market.

Brian Richard Farrell, of Bellevue, Washington, is charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine in U.S. District Court in Seattle, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Agents seized US$35,000 in cash, silver bullion and drug paraphernalia from Farrell's residence when he was arrested last week, the DOJ said.

Farrell is accused of being a "key assistant" to Blake Benthall, whom authorities allege ran Silk Road 2.0. Benthall was arrested in November 2014 in San Francisco.

Silk Road 2.0 went live shortly after the original Silk Road was shut down in October 2013. It was virtually identical to its predecessor, offering an anonymous way for its users to buy drugs and other contraband. The website ran on the Tor network, an anonymity tool that makes it hard to identify IP addresses.

A trial is underway this week in New York for Ross William Ulbricht, who is accused of being "Dread Pirate Roberts," the mastermind behind the original Silk Road. Ulbricht's attorney has contended that while Ulbricht created the Silk Road, he left the site but was lured back by the real operators to serve as a fall guy.

As of September 2014, the Silk Road 2.0 generated sales of $8 million per month with about 150,000 active users, the DOJ said.

Prosecutors believe Farrell was part of a small group of administrators who managed the website's infrastructure and code. Using the nickname "DoctorClu," Farrell allegedly approved new staff and vendors and even organized a distributed denial-of-service attack on a competitor.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Criminalno companysecuritylegalcybercrime

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?