Origins of FBI Investigation into Silk Road 2.0 Unclear

By Kyle Torpey Nov 6, 2014 7:01 PM EST

blake benthall silk road

NEW YORK (InsideBitcoins) — Many people will remember the long list of mistakes made by alleged Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht, which were supposedly what led to his eventual downfall. When taking a close look at the recent criminal complaint against alleged Silk Road 2.0 operator Blake Benthall, it’s easy to see a similar pattern.

It’s possible that this version of Dread Pirate Roberts was just as sloppy as Ulbricht, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. It seems that another similarity between the two Silk Road cases is that the FBI isn’t interested in spilling the details in terms of how the servers behind these darknet marketplaces were found in the first place.

The FBI is managed by underpants gnomes

The following is a summary of how the FBI, according to the criminal complaint, identified the supposed Silk Road 2.0 server:

  1. Begin search for the Silk Road 2.0 server.
  2. ????
  3. The Silk Road 2.0 server is in a foreign country and is operated by Blake Benthall.

 

Blake Benthall

Blake Benthall

In the criminal complaint against Blake Benthall, the identification of the Silk Road server is simply glossed over as if it’s not important. Instead of explaining how the server is found, the complaint simply states, “In or about May 2014, the FBI identified a server located in a foreign country that was believed to be hosting the Silk Road 2.0 website at the time.”

The problem with not explaining this process is that finding the server was the basis for the entire investigation against Blake Benthall. Once the server was found, finding out the identity of the main operator of the server was a rather trivial matter.

This non-attention-to-detail has also been found in the case of the alleged operator of the original Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht. Although the FBI has been forced to come up with the story of how they found the original Silk Road server, many security researchers, and even Tor employees, have noted that the evidence presented by the FBI simply does not add up. As one researcher put it, “The idea that the CAPTCHA was being served from a live IP is unreasonable. Were this the case, it would have been noticed not only by me, but the many other people who were also scrutinizing the Silk Road website.”

To much of the computer security community, it seems that the FBI actually hacked the original Silk Road website. Others have noted that the use of parallel construction cannot be dismissed. The lack of transparency from the FBI on this key point in both criminal investigations is rather telling.

Benthall’s series of errors

Although the origins of the original investigation in the Silk Road 2.0 server are suspicious, Blake Benthall didn’t exactly make law enforcement’s job difficult once they had their target. Here are some of the troubling mistakes allegedly made by Benthall during his escapades:

Excerpt from the Benthall criminal complaint

Excerpt from the Benthall criminal complaint

  • Blake Benthall allegedly attached his personal email to his account at the service provider where the Silk Road 2.0 server was hosted. The email account in question was blake@benthall.net.
  • Benthall allegedly emailed onion links to himself as notes, which contained private messages only viewable by members of the Silk Road 2.0 forum.
  • Benthall allegedly used a “US-based Bitcoin exchanger” to turn his bitcoins into US dollars during the course of his management over the Silk Road 2.0 website. The first deposit he made to this particular exchange was made the day after the launch of Silk Road 2.0. It seems likely that the exchange in question was either Coinbase or CampBX, although it is not mentioned by name. Benthall also allegedly tried to sell some of his bitcoins on “a certain website that offers a service enabling users to post offers to buy or sell bitcoins from other users of the site.” It’s likely that this other website was LocalBitcoins.com or another, similar website.
  • Benthall allegedly purchased a Tesla Model S with his profits from the Silk Road 2.0 website.
SilkRoadCriminalComplaint-2

Excerpt from the Benthall criminal complaint

Benthall  26,  is charged with one count of conspiring to commit narcotics trafficking, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison; one count of conspiring to commit computer hacking, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; one count of conspiring to traffic in fraudulent identification documents, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison; and one count of money laundering conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

You can follow @kyletorpey on Twitter.

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  • Origin/purposes of most fbi investigations:
    Preface:
    The fbi generally seeks to frighten, harass, abuse, assault, terrorize, bankrupt, libel, torture, force suicide, assassinate, imprison, or just kill the Target of fbi’s illegal probes.

    See my reports on the topic of gross abuses by the fbi/police community here:

    https://ttu.academia.edu/geralsosbee

    The United States of America has lost its human decency; all branches and all departments of government and with the complete complacency of the ruling class have become criminals or unethical supporters of the sociopathic thugs in power. Doctors maim or harm patients and falsify medical charts (often when fbi so orders), lawyers sell out their clients (often fearing fbi reprisal) or exploit their adversaries beyond measure, judges are anything but impartial, bankers rob their customers while engaging in wall street insider crimes, corrupt legislators enact oppressive laws for lobbyists, the SCOTUS rules that police may murder innocent suspects fleeing in their cars, merchants exercise extreme profiteering wherever they can get away with it at the expense of customers, and cops/fbi….

    …cops/fbi are robbers, torturers and murderers:

    http://la.indymedia.org/news/2015/06/268594.php

    Spanish:

    http://barcelona.indymedia.org/newswire/display/497719/index.php

    criminally macabre USA:

    http://www.indymedia.org.nz/articles/3758

    Spanish:

    http://venezuela.indymedia.org/es/2015/06/34969.shtml

    For more specific data in support of the above report see “My Story In Detail” in twenty (20) parts starting here:

    http://sosbeevfbi.com/mystory.html

    stiga

    tions:

  • Jim5437532

    Several months ago the Tesla & Bitcoin fan boys were spamming a bunch of hype about the Tesla that was bought with Bitcoins. Beyond all hype, it seems the truth is that it was bought by a crook with dirty money. The Tesla fan boys (the Tesla Mafia) have been cheering on & supporting organized crime.

    Blake Benthall was an employee of Elon Musk (CEO of SpaceX & Tesla Motors). Allegedly some of the laundered money was used to buy a Tesla. Elon Musk is on record making fraudulent claims about Tesla batteries. Elon Musk and his corporate shill lemmings falsely claim that Tesla batteries are non-toxic, nonhazardous, environmentally friendly and landfill safe.

    According to TESLA Motors, the high voltage battery (lithium-ion battery) can release toxic vapors; including sulfuric acid, oxides of carbon, nickel, aluminum, lithium, copper, and cobalt..

    Tesla fan boys are shills that spam slander, lies, FUD, hate, and ignorance. Tesla fan boys have no credibility and are a laughingstock. lol They ought to be in prisons or/and a mental institutions. They don’t want you to believe experts, instead they want you to believe lying, ignorant shills. They have no clue when it comes to science and technology. They are greedy people don’t care about the environment, safety or truth..

    Tesla fan boys can’t handle the truth.. Tesla fan boys fear & hate truth.

    A few examples of the hate, ignorance & lies the Tesla Mafia has spammed:

    WeaponZero “Lithium ion batteries are non-hazardous in both materials and waste”

    WeaponZero “lithium ion batteries(non-toxic)”

    WeaponZero “There are no toxic heavy metals in a lithium ion battery”

    WeaponZero “lithium ion batteries do not pose risk if they are land filled”

    WeaponZero “lithium ion batteries are non-toxic.”

    WeaponZero “As I mentioned before, heavy metals are not a bad thing just because they are heavy metals. Lithium ion batteries are considered non-toxic. The CEO of BYD even drank one”.

    WeaponZero “if a battery is discharged and not being used, even if compacted there is no issue”

    WeaponZero “landfill fires have nothing to do with lithium ion batteries”

    WeaponZero “I have done way more research on manufacturing of batteries and heavy metals than you”

    Peter Gordon “Tesla batteries are 100% non-toxic”

    Peter Gordon “Tesla batteries are 100% non-toxic and declared completely safe for landfill”

    Peter Gordon “Tesla lithium ion cells contain no heavy metals, nor any toxic materials”

    WeaponZero “To note, 0 Tesla batteries exploded”

    WeaponZero “There is 0 Tesla cars at risk of fire.”

    WeaponZero “Actually, those things you see flickering are not battery cells but fireworks.”

    grendal “the car didn’t explode”

    grendal “no car has ever exploded”

    grendal “You also said the car exploded (it did not) and released toxic fumes when neither happened”

    NΘΘR “This is not even an explosion”

    CMCNestT . “The battery did not explode”

    sranger “False, they are fireworks (4th of July after all)”

    Albertico “The car did not explode at all”

    strata8 “Did not explode”

    Tesla755 “No batteries exploded”

    stopcrazypp “It didn’t actually explode”

    stopcrazypp “the amount of gas expelled is not enough to act like a rocket and carry a cell two stories high”

    Xixo “Teslas were actually not explosions”

    Dave_SRQ “There haven’t been any Tesla Model S recalls”

    WeaponZero “For this to happen to a lithium ion battery is extremely rare, though more common with lithium polymer batteries.”
    (WeaponZero doesn’t know that lithium polymer is a type of lithium ion battery) lol

    The facts show that Teslas have exploded.
    Google:

    “Photos: Stolen Tesla Splits In Half And Explodes After Crashing In West Hollywood”

    “The Tesla’s lithium battery exploded into flames that shot up several stories into the air”

    “Video shot from a nearby apartment showed burning lithium batteries popping and sending fiery debris more than three stories into the air”

    “A stolen Tesla speeding up La Brea Avenue at up to 100 miles per hour was sliced in half, and its lithium batteries exploded and burned, in a crash that injured at least six people today”

    “Tesla Model S Explodes After Accident in Mexico”

    The facts are that Tesla batteries are toxic; despite the fraudulent claims by Elon Musk & Tesla shills.

    On page 18 of the 2012-2013 emergency responder guide for the Tesla model S. There are sections on firefighting & fire damage related to the high voltage battery; indicating that the battery can release toxic vapors. Including sulfuric acid, oxides of carbon, nickel, aluminum, lithium, copper & cobalt..

    The leaking chemicals can be so dangerous, that it seems to suggest evacuating civilians from the proximity of a Tesla battery fire and it’s plume of toxic fumes. Emergency responders should wear full protective gear & self-contained breathing equipment to protect themselves from the toxic materials from the Tesla battery..

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