NEW YORK (InsideBitcoins) — Tuesday U.S. officials announced charges against Brian Farrell, accused of being the right hand man to the leader of Silk Road 2.0, the heir to the original hidden drug marketplace.
Farrell, 26, from Washington State, was arrested last Friday on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine. He later admitted to officials that he was the right hand man and went by the name “DoctorClu” on the site.
“Federal law enforcement continues its efforts to root out those who subvert the Internet to set up black markets for illegal goods.”
Silk Road 2.0 launched only a few weeks after Ross Ulbricht, the accused founder of the original site, was arrested. The site allowed users to buy drugs, weapons, computer hacking software, and other illicit goods and services. It was originally launched by Dread Pirate Roberts 2, which allowed a user going by the name “Defcon” to become the interim leader. However, Silk Road 2.0 was shut down when Blake Benthall, the man behind Defcon, was arrested.
According to an affidavit by Homeland Security Special Agent Michael Larson, the agency tracked Silk Road 2.0 activity to Farrell’s home in July. Over the following months, agents interviewed his roommate who confirmed the daily packages Farrell received, one of which allegedly contained 107 Xanax pills. That was enough for the government to get a warrant and on January 2, found drug paraphernalia, $35,000 in cash, computers, and silver bullion bars worth $3,900 in Farrell’s Bellevue, Washington residence.
“The arrest of Mr. Farrell is proof that federal law enforcement continues its efforts to root out those who subvert the Internet to set up black markets for illegal goods,” Acting U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes said in a statement.
Farrell was brought into court on Tuesday and U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Alice Theiler appointed Peter Avenia, a public defender, to represent him. The mandatory minimum prison term for these charges is 10 years. Farrell could be facing life in prison for a maximum sentence.
Meanwhile, the trial of Ross Ulbricht in the matter of the original Silk Road continues in Manhattan.