The FBI has seized the website of Silk Road 2.0, a major “darknet” marketplace, and arrested its alleged operator, Blake Benthall, in San Francisco.
The first version was shutdown over a year ago, and now the successor, alleged founder, Blake Benthall is charged with crimes including conspiring to commit narcotics trafficking, computer hacking, trafficking in fake IDs, and money laundering.
According to the FBI, the site was launched by a co-conspirator of “Dread Pirate Roberts” who founded the original website, but that Benthall took over control in late December of last year. Benthall’s Facebook page states he is a software engineer at SpaceX, while a Twitter profile is tagged “rocket scientist, Bitcoin dreamer.” This I guess made him seem suspicious by having two completely different occupations on his social media, however that isn’t why he got caught. Silk Road 2.0 used Tor to hide origins and operations, so the FBI sent undercover agent to infiltrate the site’s support staff and was able to communicate with Benthall directly that way.