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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags cybercrimelegalCriminalno company

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

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?