Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Thursday, November 6, 2014

FBI Nabs Alleged Silk Road 2.0 Operator Blake Benthall

Posted By on Thu, Nov 6, 2014 at 9:51 AM

click to enlarge silkroad.png
Roughly a year since Ross Ulbricht was arrested in the Glen Park Library and charged with running a vast drug and contraband bazaar over the "dark Internet," his alleged successor, Blake Benthall, has also landed in FBI clutches.

Benthall, a 26-year-old computer programmer, is accused of running Silk Road 2.0, a hidden website in which users could swap Bitcoin for illegal drugs. The site launched within weeks of Ulbricht's arrest, employing features nearly identical to the ones on the original Silk Road. It offered 13,000 listings for controlled substances, including psychedelics, ecstasy, cannabis, and opioids. Its proprietor went by the alias "Defcon."

According to FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos, Benthall, like Ulbricht, ran his site through the anonymous Tor network, generating millions of dollars in monthly sales. "Benthall should have known that those who hide behind the keyboard will ultimately be found," Venizelos said in a press statement.

Benthall was arrested yesterday in San Francisco and will appear before Magistrate Judge Jaqueline Scott Corley today. Ulbricht, meanwhile, is awaiting his January trial in a New York penitentiary, where he reportedly teaches yoga to other inmates.

You can read the unsealed criminal complaint here.



  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

About The Author

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan

Bio:
Rachel Swan was a staff writer at SF Weekly from 2013 to 2015. In previous lives she was a music editor, IP hack, and tutor of Cal athletes.

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

 

Comments are closed.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"