Today the FBI announced the closure of the Silk Road 2.0 and the arrest yesterday of Blake Benthall the alleged operator of Silk Road 2.0 who operated under the moniker "Defcon." The charges leveled at Benthall include:
- Conspiring to commit narcotics trafficking
- Conspiring to commit computer hacking
- Conspiring to traffic in fraudulent identification documents
- Money laundering conspiracy
United States Attorney Preet Bharara offered the following comment in the press release:
As alleged, Blake Benthall attempted to resurrect Silk Road, a secret website that law enforcement seized last year, by running Silk Road 2.0, a nearly identical criminal enterprise. Let’s be clear—this Silk Road, in whatever form, is the road to prison. Those looking to follow in the footsteps of alleged cybercriminals should understand that we will return as many times as necessary to shut down noxious online criminal bazaars. We don’t get tired.
The Silk Road 2.0 operated from November 2013 to November 2014. The press release alleges Benthall operated the site beginning in December after taking over the site from its founder who used the moniker Dread Pirate Roberts though the alleged Dread Pirate Roberts Ross Ulbricht was incarcerated at the time. Reportedly other smaller Dark Market sites have been seized as well. The Dread Pirate Roberts is assumed to still be at large.