FBI Shuts Down Black Market Website Silk Road Again and Arrests the OwnerOne year after the FBI shuts down the black market website Silk Road, the FBI has shut it down once again. Silk Road 2.0 was shut down earlier this month by the FBI. This comes as a shock, due to the fact that the FBI shut them down a year ago and it seemed to have no effect on the site launching back up. Silk Road 2.0, much like the original website Silk Road, used software to hide the origins and operators to sell drugs and guns anonymously and illegally.The FBI states they had an undercover agent infiltrated the site’s support staff. From there the agent was able to communicate with Benthall, the sites main owner and operator, directly. Blake Benthall is believed to have taken the place of the former owner known as Dread Pirate Roberts.Dread Pirate Roberts was the online pseudonym of the owner of the original Silk Road. His real name is Ross William Ulbricht. His pseudonym comes from a character in the movie Princess Bride. The original Silk Road generated about $1.2 billion in revenue since its creation early 2011. The 30 year old Ulbricht, reportedly generated more than $80 million in commissions from running the illegal site. When his family was interviewed they claimed he was an upstanding man, who had never been in trouble with the law to their knowledge. He was arrested in October of 2013, when the site was shut down. He is accused of money laundering, computer hacking, conspiracy to traffic narcotics, as well as procuring a murder of a person who had threaten to reveal Ulbricht’s identity and his role in the Silk Road. Ulbricht often dropped hints of liberal views on the site stating, “Silk Road was founded on libertarian principles and continues to be operated on them.” He continues, “The same principles that have allowed Silk Road to flourish can and do work anywhere human beings come together.” Ross justifies, “The only difference is that the State is unable to get its thieving murderous mitts on it.” Ross was known for his libertarian views while in college. Many other facts lead to his arrest, involving emails and other electronic trails. He pleaded not guilty on all accounts. His trial will begin in January of 2015.Meanwhile, Blake Benthall, who took over for Ross after he was arrested, is being charged with multiple crimes. These crimes include conspiring to commit narcotics trafficking, computer hacking, trafficking in fake IDs, and money laundering. The 26 year old Blake Benthall drove a $127,000 Tesla Model S. He spent his days working as a contractor for companies. It is not exactly the kind of job that would allow you to afford a car like that.With both the Silk Road’s alleged leaders behind bars, how long will it take before the illegal site is launched again? Only time will tell.
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