FBI Shuts Down Silk Road, The Internet’s Largest Black Market Network

Owner arrested in San Francisco and accused of computer hacking, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, and hiring a contract killer. In an operation that’s been going on since November 2011, undercover agents have made over 100 purchases of controlled substances.

Yesterday evening the FBI arrested Ross William Ulbricht, the owner and proprietor of the internet black market network Silk Road, seizing the site’s domain and confiscating $3.6 million in Bitcoin.

Federal prosecutors have charged Ulbricht with counts of, computer hacking conspiracy, narcotics trafficking conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy, according to a court filing, which has been obtained by security blogger Brian Krebs.

Here are just some of the remarkable findings in the complaint, so far:

3. Early on in the criminal complaint, Ulbricht is accused of “soliciting a Silk Road user to execute a murder-for-hire of another Silk Road user”

4. While estimates rely on the constantly fluctuating price of Bitcoin, the site is thought to have generated $1.2 billion in sales throughout its lifetime.

5. The complaint notes that since November 2011, undercover agents have made over 100 purchases of controlled substances from Silk Road, including cocaine, ecstasy and heroin.

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Charlie Warzel is a senior writer for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Warzel reports on and writes about the intersection of tech and culture.
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