USA Whacks Silk Road Operators
MANHATTAN (CN) - Federal prosecutors accuse three men of operating the Silk Road website to sell hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal drugs and other black market items, and to launder money and hack computers.
The unsealed indictment accuses Andrew Michael Jones, Gary Davis and Peter Phillip Nash of running the underground website from January 2011 to October 2013.
In those 2½ years, thousands of drug dealers used Silk Road to sell hundreds of kilograms of drugs - including heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine - and other goods to more than 100,000 buyers, prosecutors claim in the three-count indictment.
The site's owner, Ross William Ulbricht, paid the men $50,000 to $75,000 a year to maintain his website as administrators and moderators, according to the 13-page indictment.
Ulbricht was arrested in October and accused of running the trafficking site as Dread Pirate Roberts.
Jones went by the alias Inigo; Davis called himself Libertas; and Nash had several aliases, including Samesamebutdifferent, Batman73, Symmetry, and Anonymousasshit, according to the indictment.
The site provided a platform to purchase malware, used by hackers, password stealers and keyloggers, the government claims.
It seeks forfeiture of assets and penalties.