A Bellevue man who allegedly helped run the anonymous black market site Silk Road 2.0 was arrested by federal agents and appeared in court on Tuesday.
The FBI is charging 26-year-old Brian Richard Farrell for helping assist in day-to-day operations of Silk Road 2.0, which acted as an online marketplace for illegal drugs and other illicit products. Farrell, who also went by the name “DoctorClu,” allegedly was a “key assistant” to Blake Benthall, a former leader of Silk Road 2.0 who was arrested in November.
“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 L. Hayes said in a statement. “Those who attempt to hide their tracks using sophisticated computer networks will be found because of the determined work of law enforcement agencies such as Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the FBI.”
Silk Road 2.0 launched after the FBI shut down the original Silk Road marketplace in 2013 and arrested its alleged owner, Ross William Ulbricht. The agency’s takedown of the original Silk Road led to a number of other arrests, including one of a Bellevue software engineer whom the feds alleged was one of the top drug dealers on the first marketplace.
Federal agents charged Farrell with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, heroine, and methamphetamine. Ars Technica, which spoke with Farrell in June, has more details about Farrell’s involvement with Silk Road 2.0.