Brian Richard Farrell, 27, of Bellevue, Washington received an eight-year prison sentence, and four years of supervised release for his role in the Silk Road 2.0 Dark Web marketplace.

Silk Road 2.0 surfaced on the Dark Web after the FBI took down the original Silk Road marketplace. The website was launched in November 2013 by some of the admins from the original Silk Road.

A few months later, authorities arrested these admins as well, but couldn’t take down the site, who ended up with new ownership. This second management team took over in February 2014, and lasted until November 2014 when the FBI arrested its main admin and a couple of its staff in San Francisco and other cities around the world, part of Operation Onymous.

It was only years later that the public found out that the FBI had paid the Carnegie Mellon University to develop a Tor exploit solely for the purpose of tracking down the admins of this second Silk Road incarnation. The FBI then subpoenaed the university to keep quiet about its work.

Farrell was Benthall right-hand man

Farrell, who was known on the site as DoctorClu, operated directly under Blake Benthall, the site’s admin, known as Defcon. Farrell and Benthall were part of the second Silk Road 2.0 team, arrested in 2014.

Farrell’s activities included managing and approving new vendors and new staff members. He was also tasked with organizing and carrying out DDoS attacks on their competition.

By the time the Feds shut down the site for good in 2014, authorities said Silk Road 2.0 was making around $8 million per month, mostly generated from sales commissions for the illegal trade of drugs, weapons, and exploits. The site had over 150,000 monthly active users when it was shut down, which is a considerable number of a Dark Web portal.

FBI agents found in Farrell’s Bellevue home various types of drug paraphernalia, over $35,000 and a silver bullion.

Benthall has not been sentenced yet. Ross Ulbricht, the admin of the first Silk Road received a life prison sentence. Another version of Silk Road, dubbed 3.0, surfaced online during the past month.

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