A census database of all publicly-reported arrests and prosecutions connected to the Tor-Bitcoin drug darknet markets 2011-2015, and analysis of mistakes.
- Black Market Reloaded
- Sheep Marketplace (SMP)
- Silk Road 1 (SR1)
- Silk Road 2 (SR2)
- Unconfirmed Rumors
- See Also
- External Links
I compile a table and discussion of all known arrests and prosecutions related to English-language Tor-Bitcoin darknet markets (DNMs) such as Silk Road 1, primarily 2011–2015, along with discussion of how they came to be arrested.
Online DNM users have been arrested in a number of countries, for many different reasons and in many ways, dating back to not long after the opening of Silk Road 1 in January 2011. Because of the novelty of such markets and the relatively durable communities, a surprising number of arrests eventually become known. While we’ll never know all the users who experience imperial entanglements, published reports at least yield a lower bound on their numbers and are enlightening as to law enforcement methods & OPSEC lessons. I actively tracked all arrests I learned of in various ways until mid-2015, when I wound down my DNM research and stopped adding new cases (although I would sometimes update existing cases); the most comprehensive post-2015 arrest source I know as of November 2019 is DarkNet.live’s “Arrested Darknet Vendors” page.
The sections are split up by market, then by country.
To suggest or correct entries, you can contact me via email & PGP or in the comments section.
“Philosophy in any case always comes on the scene too late…When philosophy paints its gloomy picture then a form of life has grown old. It cannot be rejuvenated by the gloomy picture, but only understood. Only when the dusk starts to fall does the owl of Minerva spread its wings and fly.”
Role: buyer, seller, staff, or market founder/operator; each has distinct risks and LE interest and should be distinguished
Market: the DNM a person was most affiliated with, last active on, or busted because of
For example, a Silk Road 1 employee working at Silk Road 2 would be classified as SR1-related because he had provided DPR1 his dox and was busted as a consequence of SR1, not because he worked at SR2 when he was arrested; oppositely, a seller like California Cannabis, who had sold on SR1 but was busted after being deanonymized by the undercover agent through the SR2 seller portal, would be classified as SR2-related. And a seller who sold on a market but was busted through his own off-market sales will be marked with the relevant market.
Product: the main 3-4 drugs they were dealing in or possessed
International: whether they were receiving/sending packages across borders
Arrest date: best known guess at when they were raided/searched/arrested/charged; if known only to the month, I round up/down
Known date: when I learned of it/added to my article (distribution of lags may be useful for estimating fraction remaining unknown)
Sex: when known
Age: age when arrested; if only a range is known, I choose the median & give the range in the notes
As of 2019-06-13, there is publicly-known & included in my table (although many, if not most, cases still remain unknown):
312 arrests/legal trouble on the following markets (including overlaps):
- SR1: 158
- SR2: 93
- Agora: 35
- Evolution: 33
- BMR: 9
- AlphaBay: 11
- Utopia: 5
- Sheep: 5
- Dream: 3
- Nucleus: 2
- Valhalla: 2
- Hydra: 1
- Topix2: 1
- of the buyers, 121 or approximately half (53%) of known cases seem to have involved orders crossing international borders
market employees/staff: 10
market administrator/operator/owner: 8
- fraction of markets (87) whose operator(s) have been busted so far: 6, or 7%
from 27 countries:
- USA: 187
- UK: 39
- Germany: 36
- NZ: 36
- Australia: 32
- Sweden: 21
- Netherlands: 17
- Ireland: 10
- Austria: 9
- India: 7
- Canada: 6
- Norway: 5
- Israel: 4
- Belgium: 3
- Cyprus: 3
- Indonesia: 3
- Scotland: 3
- France: 2
- Thailand: 2
- Czech: 1
- Denmark: 1
- Hungary: 1
- Italy: 1
- Japan: 1
- Scandinavia: 1
- Uganda: 1
the most popular drugs/items to order or be found possessing:
- MDMA: 47
- marijuana: 35
- cocaine: 28
- LSD: 27
- meth: 17
- amphetamine: 15
- Xanax: 12
- heroin: 9
- gun: 8
- DMT: 7
- ketamine: 7
- oxycodone: 7
- diazepam: 5
- fentanyl: 5
- NBOMe: 5
- psilocybin: 5
- abrin: 3
- Bitcoin: 3
- bomb: 3
- carding: 3
- hydrocodone: 3
- methylone: 3
- 25i: 2
- 2C-E: 2
- clonazepam: 2
- cyanide: 2
- fake IDs: 2
- mescaline: 2
- source code: 2
- steroids: 2
- 25c: 1
- 2C-C: 1
- 4-MEC: 1
- alpha-PVP: 1
- BDMPEA: 1
- benzodiazepines: 1
- counterfeit coupons: 1
- counterfeit currency: 1
- DOM: 1
- financial data: 1
- hash: 1
- laundering: 1
- mephedrone: 1
- modafinil: 1
- mushrooms: 1
- MXE: 1
- opium: 1
- prescription: 1
- ricin: 1
- Ritalin: 1
- safrole: 1
- sildenafil: 1
- spice: 1
- Suboxone: 1
- U-47700: 1
- uniform: 1
|Stacy Litz||F||23||buyer||SR1||USA||Pennsylvania||MDMA, LSD||FALSE||2011-09-01||2013-01-13||Philadelphia, Powelton Village|
|SR1||USA||Maryland||2011-12-29||2015-04-18||Inferred from internal timeline; Baltimore CI|
|SR1||USA||Illinois||2012-01-13||2015-04-18||Inferred from internal timeline; Chicago CI|
|Jacob Theodore George||M||32||digitalink||seller||SR1||USA||Maryland||heroin, methylone||FALSE||2012-01-17||2013-10-29||Details remain mysterious; probably Baltimore arrest in Jan 2012 but when exactly? Best guess date.|
|dripsofacid||buyer||SR1||USA||2012-03-01||2015-01-14||Inferred from DerYeghiayan’s testimony about use for undercover buys.|
|Christopher Owen||M||seller||SR1||Australia||NSW||MDMA, ketamine, meth||FALSE||2012-04-27||2013-05-18||>20yo? New South Wales, Illawarra|
|Mehran Jahedi||M||18||buyer||SR1||USA||Massachusetts||LSD, ketamine, MDMA||TRUE||2012-05-05||2014-10-17||Massachusetts, Great Barrington, Simon’s Rock|
|alllove||seller||SR1||USA||marijuana||FALSE||2012-05-19||2015-02-05||alllove’s bust is known solely from incidental use of his SR1 account in Ulbricht trial; dated to earliest mention of his disappearance I found.|
|Callum Fay||M||19||seller||SR1||UK||Cambridge||cocaine, MDMA, meth, heroin, ketamine||TRUE||2012-06-28||2015-05-11||Cambridge, Sawston|
|Isaac Patiari Maki||M||19||buyer||SR1||NZ||Invercargill||MDMA||TRUE||2012-06-28||2013-02-20|
|M||buyer||SR1||NZ||meth||TRUE||2012-07-11||2012-07-14||Exact date unknown other than it was in 2012 sometime before 11 July; this is for the Customs officer|
|Paul Leslie Howard||M||32||Shadh1||seller||SR1||Shadh1||Australia||Melbourne||MDMA, cocaine||TRUE||2012-07-12||2013-02-03||Melbourne, Brunswick West|
|M||buyer||SR1||NZ||MDMA||TRUE||2012-07-11||2012-07-14||Exact date unknown other than it was in 2012 sometime before 11 July; this is for the university student|
|Ryan West||M||20||buyer||SR1||Australia||Perth||MDMA||TRUE||2012-08-01||2012-12-06||Exact date unknown; in August.|
|James Fowler||M||26||warweed||seller||SR1||Canada||B.C.||psilocybin, marijuana, gun||TRUE||2012-08-02||2015-05-28|
|SR1||NZ||TRUE||2012-08-12||2012-10-13||One of 5 unknown NZ arrested related to SR1 January-July 2012, reported in August media article.|
|David Handel||M||23||davidd||seller||SR1||USA||Ohio||methylone, 2C-E, 2C-C||TRUE||2012-08-21||2014-02-21||Undercover buys led to his profiling & identification; arrested after picking up a package from post office in Columbus.|
|Shawn Casey||M||32||Trojan||seller||SR1||Canada||Alberta||DMT||TRUE||2012-08-22||2014-12-17||Police tipped off by neighbors in Calgary|
|M||buyer||SR1||Australia||MDMA, marijuana, amphetamine||TRUE||2012-09-01||2014-12-05||2 unnamed brothers.|
|M||buyer||SR1||Australia||MDMA, marijuana, amphetamine||TRUE||2012-09-01||2014-12-05||2 unnamed brothers.|
|Simon Lim||M||26||buyer||SR1||NZ||cocaine, meth, LSD||TRUE||2012-10-01||2013-02-20||Not clear when arrested, other than sometime during or before October 2012.|
|M||buyer||SR1||SourDieselMan||USA||New Jersey||marijuana||FALSE||2012-12-01||2013-10-27||SDM NJ buyer|
|Richard Pollard||M||32||1StopOz||seller||SR1||Australia||Victoria||MDMA, cocaine, ketamine||TRUE||2012-12-01||2014-11-16||Victoria, Warrandyte.|
|buyer||SR1||Israel||TRUE||2013-01-01||2015-01-18||Report from DDW, arrested “beginning of 2013” for 2012 purchases; for simplicity, listed as 2013-01-01.|
|Curtis Clark Green||M||47||Chronicpain||staff||SR1||USA||Utah||cocaine||FALSE||2013-01-17||2013-10-02||Utah, Spanish Fork.|
|M||TrustusJones||seller||SR1||USA||marijuana, oxycodone||FALSE||2013-01-23||2015-03-30||First documented as DEA-controlled on 2013-01-23, but may have been flipped as early as April 2012.|
|M||17||buyer||SR1||Australia||Perth||NBOMe||TRUE||2013-02-17||2014-06-12||Sentencing related to Preston Bridges accidental falling death ~2013-02-16; unclear when exactly his friend was charged, so I’ve dated day after fall.|
|Patrick Franzini||M||22||buyer||SR1||Australia||Victoria||meth, DMT, ketamine||TRUE||2013-02-19||2015-02-28||Victoria, Diamond Creek.|
|Samuel Ryan Ludwig||M||22||buyer||SR1||Australia||Victoria||MDMA, LSD, ketamine, amphetamine||TRUE||2013-02-19||2015-05-05||Victoria, Ashburton|
|Lee James Matthews||M||31||buyer||SR1||Australia||Victoria||MDMA, cocaine, meth||TRUE||2013-02-21||2015-05-05||Victoria, Craigieburn|
|Matthew Karl Nelson||M||28||buyer||SR1||luckylucianno||USA||Florida||MDMA||TRUE||2013-02-21||2013-02-27||Florida, North Naples|
|Jules Staib||M||19||buyer||SR1||luckylucianno||USA||Louisiana||MDMA, LSD, marijuana, cocaine, DMT||TRUE||2013-02-22||2013-02-27||Louisiana, New Orleans|
|Wyatt Silverman||M||19||buyer||SR1||luckylucianno||USA||Louisiana||MDMA, LSD, marijuana, cocaine, DMT||TRUE||2013-02-22||2013-02-27||Louisiana, New Orleans|
|Eric Daniel Hughes||M||31||Casey Jones||seller||SR1||USA||South Carolina||marijuana, clonazepam, DMT||FALSE||2013-04-12||2013-06-23||May have sold internationally but a SR1F post refers to him as a domestic seller. Charleston.|
|Benjamen P. Belmont||M||19||buyer||SR1||NZ||Manawatu||MDMA, cocaine, LSD||TRUE||2013-04-23||2014-04-21|
|Adam Lawin||M||25||buyer||SR1||USA||Iowa||MDMA||TRUE||2013-04-26||2015-02-28||Waterloo, Iowa|
|Benjamin Walker||M||22||buyer||SR1||USA||Iowa||MDMA||TRUE||2013-04-26||2015-02-28||Waterloo, Iowa|
|M||buyer||SR1||USA||Wisconsin||MDMA, marijuana||TRUE||2013-04-26||2015-03-02||This was the drop for Ryan M Petersen, who was CDed and cooperated.|
|buyer||SR1||Australia||TRUE||2013-06-01||2013-07-05||Unknown buyer based on media report about 6 SR1-related Australia arrests in June 2013.|
|M||Speedsweden||seller||SR1||Sweden||amphetamine, MDMA, spice||TRUE||2013-06-27||2015-05-06|
|M||Speedsweden||seller||SR1||Sweden||amphetamine, MDMA, spice||TRUE||2013-06-27||2015-05-06|
|Sheldon Kennedy||M||26||edgarnumbers||seller||SR1||digitalink||USA||Nebraska||methylone, gun||TRUE||2013-06-28||2014-02-20|
|M||buyer||BMR||Grass4Cash||Australia||gun||TRUE||2013-06-29||2015-03-05||The Bunger complaint does not specify when the Australian buyer was arrested, but since the package was intercepted 2013-06-28, it has to be 2013-06-29 or later.|
|M||29||Fuckthepolice137||seller||SR1||Italy||sildenafil, marijuana||TRUE||2013-06-30||2015-08-10||Age guessed from “It all started between 2005 and 2006, I was in my early twenties…on the threshold of my thirties I am waiting for the inexorable end”. Arrest date uncertain: “At the end of June came the day when the irremediable happened.”|
|F||cirrus||staff||SR1||USA||Bitcoin||FALSE||2013-07-20||2014-12-19||It’s unknown how cirrus was flipped or whether her legal was even related to SR1/bitcoins in the first place.|
|Michael Kitto||M||25||buyer||SR1||NZ||Southland||MDMA, cocaine||TRUE||2013-07-03||2013-09-09|
|Andrew Furness||M||23||buyer||SR1||NZ||Southland||MDMA, cocaine||TRUE||2013-07-03||2013-09-09|
|Gareth Edlin||M||29||buyer||SR1||NZ||Southland||MDMA, cocaine||TRUE||2013-07-03||2013-09-09|
|Sascha F.||M||24||Pfandleiher||seller||SR1||Germany||Bavaria||amphetamine, MDMA, cocaine||TRUE||2013-07-04||2014-03-13|
|M||Afterhour||seller||SR1||Germany||amphetamine, MDMA, cocaine||TRUE||2013-07-04||2013-07-10|
|M||Afterhour||seller||SR1||Germany||amphetamine, MDMA, cocaine||TRUE||2013-07-04||2013-07-10|
|M||Afterhour||seller||SR1||Germany||amphetamine, MDMA, cocaine||TRUE||2013-07-04||2013-07-10|
|F||Afterhour||seller||SR1||Germany||amphetamine, MDMA, cocaine||TRUE||2013-07-04||2013-07-10|
|Joshua J. Savoie||M||21||buyer||SR1||USA||Wisconsin||MDMA||TRUE||2013-07-11||2013-10-27|
|S. J. Paape||M||17||buyer||SR1||USA||Wisconsin||MDMA||TRUE||2013-07-11||2013-10-27||Madison Street; Chilton, Wisconsin|
|Matthew Gillum||M||SourDieselMan||seller||SR1||USA||California||marijuana||FALSE||2013-07-23||2013-10-27||At least 3 other members of group, but none seem to have been arrested.|
|Ryan M Petersen||M||21||buyer||SR1||USA||Wisconsin||MDMA, marijuana||TRUE||2013-07-24||2015-03-02||Brookfield, Wisconsin|
|Steven Sadler||M||NOD||seller||SR1||USA||WA||heroin, cocaine, meth||FALSE||2013-07-31||2013-10-02|
|Jenna White||F||NOD||seller||SR1||USA||WA||heroin, cocaine, meth||FALSE||2013-07-31||2013-10-02|
|M||buyer||SR1||Australia||2013-08-01||2015-03-01||This is based on the short 2013-08-10 media mention of a man fined for “attempting to possess drugs from the site”.|
|Jackson R.||M||buyer||SR1||Australia||WA||DMT, 2C-E||TRUE||2013-08-23||2015-07-24||Fourth WA bust. South Bunbury.|
|Luke Hanley||M||buyer||SR1||Australia||25c, 25i, amphetamine||TRUE||2013-08-01||2014-04-01||I guess this to be August given the phrasing of “just months” before October 2013. Note despite the similar date, this cannot be the other Australian buyer as Hanley was only fined & given suspended sentence in 2014.|
|Matthew B. Collins||M||23||buyer||SR1||NZ||Hillcrest||MDMA, LSD, marijuana||TRUE||2013-08-01||2015-04-11||22-24yo|
|Jared Underwood||M||25||buyer||SR1||NZ||Hamilton||MDMA, LSD, marijuana||TRUE||2013-08-01||2015-04-11||24-26yo|
|Ryan Thomas McManus||M||30||sonicdrone||seller||SR1||Ireland||Belfast||cocaine, mephedrone, MDMA, LSD||TRUE||2013-08-05||2015-04-29||29-31yo|
|Ryan Milligan||M||28||sonicdrone||seller||SR1||Ireland||Dumdrum||cocaine, mephedrone, MDMA, LSD||TRUE||2013-08-05||2015-04-29||27-29yo|
|Connor Devenney||M||35||sonicdrone||seller||SR1||Ireland||Newcastle||cocaine, mephedrone, MDMA, LSD||TRUE||2013-08-05||2015-04-29||34-36yo|
|Nicholas C. Moffitt||M||24||buyer||SR1||USA||New York||heroin, Xanax, Suboxone, cocaine||2013-08-07||2013-08-27||Queensbury|
|Cornelis Slomp||M||21||SuperTrips||seller||SR1||USA||Florida||MDMA, cocaine, LSD||TRUE||2013-08-27||2014-02-15||Traveled from Netherlands; the ST documents mention 11 other people who worked with ST (one of them UGS); there are no reports that the other 10 were arrested.|
|Andrew T. Harrison||M||27||buyer||SR1||NZ||Wellington||MDMA, NBOMe||TRUE||2013-09-01||2014-04-21||Media article says only “September”.|
|Sid Hammer||M||23||buyer||SR1||USA||Vermont||LSD, MDMA, oxycodone||2013-09-01||2013-11-11|
|Dylan Richardson||M||23||buyer||SR1||NZ||Palmerston N.||meth||TRUE||2013-09-03||2013-12-18||Palmerston North, Manawatu-Wanganui.|
|Adam Bunger||M||33||Grass4Cash||seller||BMR||USA||Kentucky||gun||TRUE||2013-09-10||2013-09-18||Bowling Green|
|M||Ausid||seller||SR1||Australia||fake IDs||FALSE||2013-09-10||2013-10-15||Not clear on whether Ausid sold to international customers; their fakes seem to have been Australia-specific.|
|Daniel Wayne Fowler||M||23||buyer||SR1||NZ||Auckland||MDMA, marijuana||TRUE||2013-09-30||2014-12-08||Assigning to end of September due to media article phrasing “Over the course of a week at the end of September last year”.|
|Lisa Marie Clark||F||22||buyer||SR1||NZ||Auckland||MDMA, marijuana||TRUE||2013-09-30||2014-12-08|
|Michael Duch||M||38||deezletime||seller||SR1||USA||New York||clonazepam, hydrocodone, heroin||FALSE||2013-10-01||2015-01-13||38-39yo|
|Angel W. Quinones||M||34||UnderGroundSyndicate||seller||SR1||SuperTrips||USA||Florida||MDMA, cocaine, LSD||TRUE||2013-10-02||2014-04-28||Miami International Airport, Miami, Florida|
|Ross William Ulbricht||M||29||Dread Pirate Roberts||operator||SR1||USA||California||TRUE||2013-10-02||2013-10-02||San Francisco|
|Peter Ward||M||52||PlutoPete||seller||SR1||UK||Devon||cocaine, marijuana, meth||TRUE||2013-10-02||2013-10-03|
|M||seller||SR1||UK||2013-10-02||2013-10-03||3 unknown Manchester UK arrests simultaneous with Ulbricht & Ward.|
|Jimmie Michael Juhlin||M||34||SweExpress||seller||SR1||Sweden||Helsingborg||marijuana||TRUE||2013-10-08||2013-10-11||Media says 29/34, unclear which is which; arbitrarily assigned.|
|Mohammed F.A. Barham||M||29||SweExpress||seller||SR1||Sweden||Helsingborg||marijuana||TRUE||2013-10-08||2013-10-11|
|Peter James Grossett||M||48||buyer||SR1||NZ||Wellington||meth, LSD, marijuana||TRUE||2013-11-01||2014-07-05||Apparently busted sometime in November 2013 but not more specifically or what the non-SR1 market he used was.|
|M||Blackjack021||seller||SR1||Austria||marijuana, opium, amphetamine||TRUE||2013-11-04||2015-03-01||The Austria article says it was a father-son pair who were arrested as the seller.|
|M||Blackjack021||seller||SR1||Austria||marijuana, opium, amphetamine||TRUE||2013-11-04||2015-03-01|
|buyer||SR1||Blackjack021||Austria||marijuana, opium, amphetamine||FALSE||2013-11-04||2015-03-01||The Austria article seems to mention that 6, presumably Austrian, of the pair’s customers were arrested|
|buyer||SR1||Blackjack021||Austria||marijuana, opium, amphetamine||FALSE||2013-11-04||2015-03-01|
|buyer||SR1||Blackjack021||Austria||marijuana, opium, amphetamine||FALSE||2013-11-04||2015-03-01|
|buyer||SR1||Blackjack021||Austria||marijuana, opium, amphetamine||FALSE||2013-11-04||2015-03-01|
|buyer||SR1||Blackjack021||Austria||marijuana, opium, amphetamine||FALSE||2013-11-04||2015-03-01|
|buyer||SR1||Blackjack021||Austria||marijuana, opium, amphetamine||FALSE||2013-11-04||2015-03-01|
|Matthew Crisafi||M||38||Gun Wise||seller||BMR||USA||New Hampshire||gun||TRUE||2013-11-06||2013-11-07||Hampton|
|Brandon Howell||M||seller||USA||North Carolina||MDMA, mescaline, marijuana||TRUE||2013-11-25||2013-11-30|
|Katherine L Westbrook||F||26||seller||USA||North Carolina||MDMA, mescaline, marijuana||TRUE||2013-11-25||2013-11-30|
|M||25||Livefromsweden||seller||Sheep||Sweden||Kristianstad||amphetamine, MDMA, cocaine, marijuana||FALSE||2013-11-27||2015-05-06|
|M||22||Livefromsweden||seller||Sheep||Sweden||Kristianstad||amphetamine, MDMA, cocaine, marijuana||FALSE||2013-11-27||2015-05-06|
|M||Livefromsweden||seller||Sheep||Sweden||Helsingborg||amphetamine, MDMA, cocaine, marijuana||FALSE||2013-11-01||2015-06-11||Arrested before first two; these latter two may not be LFS.|
|M||Livefromsweden||seller||Sheep||Sweden||Malmo||amphetamine, MDMA, cocaine, marijuana||FALSE||2013-12-01||2015-06-11||Arrested after first two.|
|Olivia Louise Bolles||F||32||MDpro||seller||SR1||USA||Delaware||oxycodone, diazepam||FALSE||2013-11-21||2013-11-22|
|Alexandra Gold||F||31||MDpro||seller||SR1||USA||Delaware||oxycodone, diazepam||FALSE||2013-11-21||2013-11-22|
|M||buyer||NZ||MDMA, LSD, meth, NBOMe||TRUE||2013-12-11||2013-12-17||Wellington trio.|
|M||buyer||NZ||MDMA, LSD, meth, NBOMe||TRUE||2013-12-11||2013-12-17|
|M||buyer||NZ||MDMA, LSD, meth, NBOMe||TRUE||2013-12-11||2013-12-17|
|Donald Ross Bechen||M||39||hammertime||seller||SR1||USA||Oregon||meth||FALSE||2013-12-17||2013-12-19|
|Andrew Michael Jones||M||24||Inigo||staff||SR1||USA||Virginia||FALSE||2013-12-19||2013-12-19||Charles City|
|Peter Phillip Nash||M||41||SSBD||staff||SR1||Australia||Queensland||FALSE||2013-12-20||2013-12-21||Brisbane|
|Lionel G.||M||26||WalkaBoot||seller||SR1||France||Loire||marijuana, amphetamine||TRUE||2013-12-21||2013-12-28||Saint-Germain-la-Montagne, Loire Department|
|Amit Sand||M||buyer||BMR||Israel||gun||TRUE||2014-01-08||2015-01-18||Unknown seller; BMR connection unconfirmed but highly likely.|
|Robert Faiella||M||52||BTCKing||seller||SR1||USA||Florida||Bitcoin||FALSE||2014-01-26||2014-01-27||Cape Coral|
|Charlie Shrem||M||25||seller||SR1||USA||New York||Bitcoin||FALSE||2014-01-26||2014-01-27||JFK, NYC|
|Kuntal Patel||F||36||buyer||BMR||Korff||UK||Stratford||abrin||TRUE||2014-01-26||2014-09-26||Park Road|
|T.S.||M||buyer||SR2||pillbay||Indonesia||West Jakarta||MDMA, LSD||TRUE||2014-01-31||2015-01-28|
|L.A.||F||buyer||SR2||pillbay||Indonesia||West Jakarta||MDMA, LSD||TRUE||2014-01-31||2015-01-28|
|Rudolf Jansen?||M||47||RuudNL||seller||Utopia||Netherlands||MDMA, cocaine, marijuana||TRUE||2013-10-04||2014-02-12||The seller arrested en route to Germany.|
|M||operator||Utopia||Netherlands||TRUE||2014-02-12||2014-02-12||At least 1 or 2 of the Utopia arrests must’ve been the site operators but I am unable to figure out which from the vague media coverage.|
|B. C. R.||M||LeContog||staff||Utopia||Germany||TRUE||2014-02-12||2014-02-12|
|Jonathan Norling||M||22||buyer||BMR||Malcolm||USA||New York||cyanide, abrin||FALSE||2014-02-14||2014-02-21|
|M||buyer||SR1||Australia||Tasmania||25i, BDMPEA||TRUE||2014-03-23||2014-04-01||Dating based on sentencing; almost no available details to give an idea of when actually arrested.|
|James Malcolm||M||29||seller||BMR||USA||California||cyanide, abrin, gun||FALSE||2014-05-04||2014-06-06||Carmichael|
|Ayumu Teramoto||M||38||buyer||Japan||Fukuoka||amphetamine||TRUE||2014-05-08||2014-05-10||The media coverage (2014-05-09) does not specify when arrest was; I’ve dated it to the day before. ‘stimulant’ is probably amphetamine.|
|Jeremy Donagal||M||35||Xanax King||seller||SR2||USA||California||Xanax||FALSE||2014-05-27||2014-06-12||Martinez|
|Laurence Lindberg||M||42||Xanax King||seller||SR2||USA||California||Xanax||FALSE||2014-05-27||2014-06-12||East Bay Area|
|Thomas Elliott||M||39||Xanax King||seller||SR2||USA||California||Xanax||FALSE||2014-05-27||2014-06-12||East Bay Area|
|Michael Tomada||M||42||Xanax King||seller||SR2||USA||California||Xanax||FALSE||2014-05-27||2014-06-12||East Bay Area|
|Michael Gonzalez||M||41||Xanax King||seller||SR2||USA||California||Xanax||FALSE||2014-05-27||2014-06-12||East Bay Area|
|Kenneth Koskiniemi||M||37||Xanax King||seller||SR2||USA||California||Xanax||FALSE||2014-05-27||2014-06-12||Fresno|
|Christopher Neely||M||Xanax King||seller||SR2||USA||California||Xanax||FALSE||2014-05-27||2014-06-12||East Bay Area|
|Duston Kirk||M||38||Xanax King||seller||SR2||USA||California||Xanax||FALSE||2014-05-27||2014-06-12||East Bay Area|
|Alicia Mitts||F||30||Xanax King||seller||SR2||USA||California||Xanax||FALSE||2014-05-27||2014-06-12||Oakley|
|Matthew Verran Jones||M||44||CALIGIRL||seller||SR1||USA||Texas||oxycodone, hydrocodone||TRUE||2014-05-29||2014-07-29||SR1 because while dealing after SR1 closed, it was off-market. Dallas.|
|Carlos Matthew Allen||M||28||buyer||SR2||Xanax King||USA||Indiana||Xanax||FALSE||2014-05-28||2014-07-28||Allen, Feigel, Furto, & Dickey were CDed simultaneously in Bloomington, Indiana.|
|David C. Feigel||M||20||buyer||SR2||Xanax King||USA||Indiana||Xanax||FALSE||2014-05-28||2014-07-28|
|Paul Furto||M||32||buyer||SR2||Xanax King||USA||Indiana||Xanax||FALSE||2014-05-28||2014-07-28|
|Andrew C. Dickey||M||20||buyer||SR2||Xanax King||USA||Indiana||Xanax||FALSE||2014-05-28||2014-07-28|
|Demarcus Blue||M||22||buyer||SR2||Xanax King||USA||Tennessee||Xanax||FALSE||2014-05-29||2014-06-02||Nashville|
|Markuite Matthews||F||20||buyer||SR2||Xanax King||USA||Tennessee||Xanax||FALSE||2014-05-29||2014-06-02||Nashville|
|Adrevious Rayner||M||18||buyer||SR2||Xanax King||USA||Tennessee||Xanax||FALSE||2014-05-29||2014-06-02||Nashville|
|Brian Patrick Noone||M||20||buyer||SR2||Xanax King||USA||Illinois||Xanax||FALSE||2014-05-30||2014-06-03||Naperville|
|M||Dark_Mart||seller||Evolution||USA||gun||FALSE||2014-06-01||2015-01-20||Dark_Mart’s bust is known only from a short reference in the Cheng Le complaint that he was busted “in or about mid 2014”; so I assign it to exactly mid-2014. He apparently was known for guns before poisons, so I’ve marked that as what he sold.|
|Kory D. Kreider||M||23||buyer||SR2||Xanax King||USA||New Orleans||Xanax||FALSE||2014-06-01||2014-06-14||Kreider evaded a CD but was eventually identified & arrested at some point during the first week of June 2014, which I code as 1 June.|
|Ryan K. Chamberlain||M||42||buyer||BMR||Malcolm, Korff||USA||California||bomb||FALSE||2014-06-02||2014-06-11|
|buyer||SR2||Xanax King||USA||Xanax||FALSE||2014-06-28||The 2015-06-25 anti-bail letter boasts that XK “led to the arrest of nearly 60 other people throughout the country”, excluding the 9 XK defendants; worst-case, < = 59 arrests, and subtracting the 5 known buyer busts, yields < = 54 still-unknown cases. These seem to be mostly XK customers. I include a row for each such case.|
|NZ||TRUE||2014-06-15||2015-02-28||Similar to the XK arrests, these 6 are place-holders for total arrests mentioned in a media report.|
|buyer||Bungee54||USA||MDMA||TRUE||2014-07-01||2014-10-20||CD inferred from Bungee54 customer service representative mention.|
|buyer||Bungee54||Scandinavia||MDMA||TRUE||2014-08-01||2014-10-20||CD inferred from Bungee54 customer service representative; country not further specified, date guess based on “none of both within the last 10 weeks.”|
|Nicholas P. Heatley||M||buyer||NZ||LSD, MDMA, Ritalin, marijuana||TRUE||2014-08-11||2015-02-22|
|Michael Andrew Ryan||M||35||weaponsguy/Gunrunner||seller||Agora||USA||Kansas||gun||TRUE||2015-06-03||2016-06-07||Identified as weaponsguy based on circumstantial evidence. Possible real arrest/raid date 2014-09-01, inferred from the Justin Moreira undercover-sale case; exact arrest date best estimate based on Australian press release “September 2014”|
|Andrew Graham Hodgson||M||29||buyer||SR2||NZ||Palmerston N.||meth, marijuana, NBOMe||TRUE||2014-09-01||2014-12-08||Arrested as part of Operation Hyderabad, which kicked off 2014-09-01, so he was probably arrested on the 1st/2nd. Palmerston North, Manawatu District|
|Ryan James Norman||M||21||MagicAU||seller||SR2||Australia||South||NBOMe, LSD, MDMA, steroids||TRUE||2014-09-26||2015-06-12|
|Stephen Jones||M||38||buyer||Evolution||weedybusnis||USA||Georgia||MDMA||TRUE||2014-10-02||2014-12-20||Flowery Branch|
|Cynthia Jones||F||39||buyer||Evolution||weedybusnis||USA||Georgia||MDMA||TRUE||2014-10-02||2014-12-20||Flowery Branch|
|Nathaniel Penalosa||M||20||buyer||SR2||USA||Colorado||MDMA, LSD, modafinil||2014-11-01||2015-08-18||Room searched “fall” 2014; is a ‘junior cadet’ in late 2015 ie a third-year college student, so second-year when searched, so guesstimate ~20yo.|
|Liam Lyburd||M||18||The Joker, ILM, DT||buyer||Evolution||UK||Newcastle||gun, bomb||TRUE||2014-11-03||2015-07-27|
|Blake Benthall||M||26||Defcon||operator||SR2||USA||California||FALSE||2014-11-05||2014-11-05||San Francisco|
|Thomas White||M||20||StExo/Dread Pirate Roberts 2 (DPR2)||operator||SR2||UK||Liverpool||TRUE||2014-11-05||2014-11-07||“20-year-old man from Liverpool”; this was revealed in April 2019 to have been StExo/DPR2.|
|Alex Middleton||M||19||MaximusDecimus||seller||SR2||UK||Lincolnshire||MXE, Xanax, 4-MEC||TRUE||2014-11-05||2014-11-07||Was finally publicly identified in September 2015.|
|M||30||SR2||UK||2014-11-05||2014-11-07||“a 30-year-old man from Cleethorpes”|
|Cei William Owens||M||29||Johnny Alpha||seller||SR2||UK||Wales||marijuana, MDMA, psilocybin||2014-11-05||2014-11-07||Aberdovey|
|Robin C. Bradshaw||M||59||buyer||SR2||UK||Wales||2014-11-05||2014-11-07||Aberdovey|
|Elynedd Ann Owens||F||58||buyer||SR2||UK||Wales||2014-11-05||2014-11-07||Aberdovey|
|Neil Mannion||M||33||TheHulkster||seller||SR2||Ireland||Dublin||MDMA, LSD, marijuana||TRUE||2014-11-05||2014-11-06|
|Richard O’Connor||M||33||TheHulkster||seller||SR2||Ireland||Dublin||MDMA, LSD, marijuana||TRUE||2014-11-05||2014-11-06|
|David Schell||M||54||CaliforniaCanibas||seller||SR2||USA||California||marijuana||FALSE||2014-11-06||2014-11-20||Durham, Butte County, California|
|Teri Schell||F||59||CaliforniaCanibas||seller||SR2||USA||California||marijuana||FALSE||2014-11-06||2014-11-20||Durham, Butte County, California|
|Germany||2014-11-05||2014-11-07||Unknown arrest inferred from Eurojust press release. While not all Operation Onymous arrests were market-related (at least two were simple con artists), they probably are, so I include the remainder to be conservative.|
|Germany||2014-11-05||2014-11-07||Unknown arrest inferred from Eurojust press release.|
|Germany||2014-11-05||2014-11-07||Unknown arrest inferred from Eurojust press release.|
|Ryan Gustafson||M||27||Willy.Clock||seller||Agora||Uganda||Kampala||counterfeit currency||TRUE||2014-12-11||2014-12-20||At least 3 other people were busted as part of the investigation (“Mr. Mouse”, “Sinner”, and “Mlin”), but they all seem to be unconnected to Agora/Evolution and so I don’t include them.|
|Cheng Le||M||21||fnufnu||seller||Evolution||Dark_Mart||USA||New York||ricin||FALSE||2014-12-23||2015-01-20||Manhattan, New York, New York|
|M||55||HollandOnline||seller||Agora||Netherlands||LSD, MDMA, ketamine||TRUE||2014-12-26||2015-03-12|
|Ryan Jensen||M||20||buyer||Evolution||Hubbard||USA||North Dakota||fentanyl, Xanax, heroin, MDMA||FALSE||2015-01-03||2015-03-14||Grand Forks|
|Kain Daniel Schwandt||M||18||buyer||Evolution||Hubbard||USA||North Dakota||fentanyl||FALSE||2015-01-03||2015-03-14||Grand Forks|
|David Todd Noye Junior||M||18||buyer||Evolution||Hubbard||USA||North Dakota||fentanyl||FALSE||2015-01-03||2015-03-14||Grand Forks|
|Brian Farrell||M||26||DoctorClu||staff||SR2||USA||WA||Xanax||FALSE||2015-01-02||2015-01-16||Farrell spilled everything during the local Bellevue police’s search in early January but was only formally arrested in late January, apparently due either to cooperating or being switched to a federal case.|
|Weitzman||M||24||buyer||Israel||Sharon||cocaine||TRUE||2015-01-04||2015-02-23||Ben yohanan Waizman (Weitzman); Kfar Sava, Sharon region|
|Julian Edgren||M||20||buyer||USA||New Jersey||MDMA, LSD, marijuana, psilocybin||TRUE||2015-01-06||2015-01-07||Princeton|
|Bryan A. Frembling||M||20||buyer||Agora||USA||California||MDMA||TRUE||2015-01-15||2015-02-22||Intercepted package. Unknown seller: Going Postal? karmasyndicate? solider? Fresno.|
|Christian L.||M||32||Dosensuppe||seller||Agora||Germany||gun||2015-01-29||2015-02-10||While 4 other people were arrested, they “have been released from custody” and seem to be uninvolved.|
|Michael Albert Focia||M||48||iWorks, RTBArms||seller||BMR, Agora||USA||Alabama||gun||FALSE||2015-01-30||2015-07-09|
|Daniel P. McKechnie||M||20||buyer||SR2||NZ||Dunedin||meth, MDMA, LSD, cocaine||TRUE||2015-02-01||2015-02-22|
|M. C. Connor-Dagg||M||19||buyer||SR2||NZ||Dunedin||meth, MDMA, LSD, cocaine||TRUE||2015-02-01||2015-02-22|
|Taine M. P. Edwards||M||18||buyer||SR2||NZ||Dunedin||meth, MDMA, LSD, cocaine||TRUE||2015-02-01||2015-02-22|
|Mohammed Ammer Ali||M||31||WEIRDOS OOOO||buyer||Evolution||Dark_Mart||UK||Liverpool||ricin||TRUE||2015-02-11||2015-04-08||These two cases have not been confirmed as to the market & seller, but based on the extreme similarity of those two to Fnufnu, I have assigned them to the FBI sting operation on Evolution. Liverpool, Merseyside County|
|M||buyer||Evolution||Dark_Mart||UK||abrin||TRUE||2015-02-16||2015-04-08||Two unnamed Manchester teenagers.|
|Richard Hiley||M||seller||SR1||happyman||UK||marijuana, cocaine, meth||2013-12-31||2015-02-18||Peter Ward/PlutoPete co-conspirator|
|M||31||Alexandrus||seller||Evolution||Sweden||Skelleftea||marijuana, LSD, MDMA||TRUE||2015-02-24||2015-03-27||Mentioned ages: 31yo, 26, 27, 28; there may be repeats?|
|M||26||Alexandrus||seller||Evolution||Sweden||Skelleftea||marijuana, LSD, MDMA||TRUE||2015-02-24||2015-03-27|
|M||27||Alexandrus||seller||Evolution||Sweden||Skelleftea||marijuana, LSD, MDMA||TRUE||2015-02-24||2015-03-27|
|M||28||Alexandrus||seller||Evolution||Sweden||Skelleftea||marijuana, LSD, MDMA||TRUE||2015-02-24||2015-03-27|
|M||Alexandrus||seller||Evolution||Sweden||Pajala||marijuana, LSD, MDMA||TRUE||2015-02-24||2015-03-27|
|M||Alexandrus||seller||Evolution||Sweden||marijuana, LSD, MDMA||TRUE||2015-02-24||2015-03-27|
|M||Alexandrus||seller||Evolution||Sweden||marijuana, LSD, MDMA||TRUE||2015-02-24||2015-03-27|
|Tomáš Jiřikovský||M||operator||Sheep||Czech||TRUE||2015-02-22||2015-03-27||Due to translation difficulties, it’s unclear when the criminal complaint for money-laundering was actually filed; dated to first official materials referring to his case.|
|Joseph Patrick Gelli||M||23||buyer||USA||South Carolina||Bitcoin, marijuana, psilocybin||2015-02-23||2015-05-06||Technically, he had “psychotropic mushrooms”. Lexington|
|M||Shiny Flakes||seller||Evolution||Germany||meth, cocaine, LSD||TRUE||2015-02-26||2015-03-11||Main seller.|
|M||Shiny Flakes||seller||Evolution||Germany||meth, cocaine, LSD||TRUE||2015-02-26||2015-03-11||Courier.|
|buyer||Evolution||Shiny Flakes||Germany||FALSE||2015-03-10||2015-03-23||Media coverage of the Shiny Flakes case indicates at least 5 buyers from his Evolution profile or clearnet site were arrested in Germany; further details are not available, so I include them in case they were Evolution buyers. There may’ve been 38 arrests associated with the 38 homes searched, but the media coverage is unclear.|
|Steven Locke Junior||M||seller||Evolution||Hubbard||USA||WA||fentanyl||FALSE||2015-03-10||2015-03-14||Woodland|
|M||Diamonddweller||seller||Agora||Denmark||steroids||TRUE||2015-03-12||2015-05-06||Diamonddweller/Diamond Pharma sold so many steroids I’m not sure which to list beyond just “steroids”.|
|Michael Regan||M||25||buyer||USA||New Jersey||LSD||TRUE||2015-03-26||2015-03-28||Trenton|
|Ryan Andrew Backer||M||18||buyer||USA||Alabama||LSD||TRUE||2015-03-26||2015-03-28||Decatur|
|M||25||buyer||Agora||weaponsguy||Australia||NSW||gun||TRUE||2015-02-01||2015-05-13||16 other weaponsguy arrests are known: 4 AU, 13 “across the United Kingdom, Europe and North America” (inclusive of Moreira).|
|M||40||buyer||SR2||Germany||Würzburg||MDMA, cocaine, amphetamine, marijuana||TRUE||2015-02-01||2015-06-18||Known only arrested “April 2015”. Since the 4 AU arrests stemmed from “the execution of 15 search warrants in February and March”, I’ve assigned 2 to each month.|
|Buddy Lipczynski||M||26||buyer||Agora||weaponsguy||Australia||gun, meth||TRUE||2015-02-27||2015-05-13|
|buyer||Agora||weaponsguy||Ireland||Cork||gun||TRUE||2015-05-13||2 pistols/revolvers, magazines/ammo; may also be the second sale of 2 Glocks|
|buyer||Agora||weaponsguy||UK||Pinner||gun||TRUE||2015-05-13||“.22-caliber IWI Uzi with scratched off serial number, magazine, and ammo”|
|buyer||Agora||weaponsguy||Scotland||Edinburgh||gun||TRUE||2015-05-13||“.45-caliber Hi Point, magazine, and ammo”|
|buyer||Agora||weaponsguy||Ireland||Mallow||gun||TRUE||2015-05-13||“Two Glock pistols with scratched off serial numbers, magazines, and ammo”|
|Dylan C. Soeffing||M||21||buyer||Agora||MoodyMayhem, Benzoman||USA||NY||marijuana, Xanax||FALSE||2015-05-14||2015-05-22|
|Basil Assaf||M||23||seller||UK||Manchester||TRUE||2015-04-14||These are the 5 Manchester men whose charges were announced on Twitter, but no details on them beyond names and “supplying drugs globally via Dark Web forums”. Bombay House, Whitworth St, Manchester|
|Jamie Roden||M||23||seller||UK||East London||TRUE||2015-04-14|
|seller||Sweden||2015-06-10||Imputed seller arrest; 4 known seller groups arrested, yet Swedish police statement 2015-05-22 that “8 of them has already been charged.”|
|Beau Wattigney||M||30||PurpleLotus||seller||SR1||USA||Louisiana||counterfeit coupons||FALSE||2015-05-28||2015-05-28|
|M||29||seller||SR1||Norway||marijuana||TRUE||2015-06-09||2015-06-09||Media mentions that Thor is 29yo; rest are 29-31; I infer that to be a range, there must be a 30yo as well.|
|Darren Hillyer||M||38||Emma||buyer||UK||Milton Keynes||gun||2015-07-28||2015-09-10|
|Ian MacPhee||M||47||buyer||UK||Devon||gun||2015-07-28||2015-09-10||drop for Hillyer|
|J Manikantan||M||24||buyer||Agora||India||Bengaluru||MDMA, LSD, marijuana||TRUE||2015-08-06||2015-08-09|
|Debyendu Roy||M||26||buyer||Agora||India||Bengaluru||MDMA, LSD, marijuana||TRUE||2015-08-06||2015-08-09|
|Jag Saipravesh||M||23||buyer||Agora||India||Bengaluru||MDMA, LSD, marijuana||TRUE||2015-08-06||2015-08-09|
|Jeffrey Paul Lloyd||M||37||buyer||Agora||UK||Gorseinon||gun||TRUE||2015-03-26||2015-11-05||May be a weaponsguy case.|
|M||17||buyer||Australia||ACT||marijuana, MDMA, cocaine, LSD||TRUE||2015-05-31||2015-11-10||“A police raid on his home in May”|
|B.V.||M||47||seller||Belgium||Genk||MDMA, meth, amphetamine||TRUE||2015-02-28||2015-11-20||The two were arrested sometime in February 2015, apparently.|
|seller||Belgium||Maaseik||MDMA, meth, amphetamine||TRUE||2015-02-28||2015-11-20|
|23||buyer||NZ||Dunedin||cocaine, MDMA, LSD, prescription||TRUE||2015-11-16||2015-11-18|
|23||buyer||NZ||Dunedin||cocaine, MDMA, LSD, prescription||TRUE||2015-11-16||2015-11-18|
|Daniel A. Atkinson||M||30||IA||seller||SR1||Australia||Adelaide||MDMA||TRUE||2015-09-05||Tentatively identified as “Meanwhile in Australia”/MIA|
|Richard Sinclair||M||32||JerseyCow||seller||Agora||Ireland||Belfast||MDMA, marijuana, diazepam, LSD||TRUE||2015-08-26||2015-09-08|
|Kyle Hall||M||25||thehater90/No1Benzos||seller||Agora||Ireland||Belfast||MDMA, marijuana, diazepam, LSD||TRUE||2015-08-26||2015-09-08|
|Montgomery RK Byrne||M||31||buyer||UK||Bury||gun||FALSE||2015-08-31||2016-01-15||Arrested sometime in August 2015.|
|M||30||buyer||SR1||Germany||Fürth||marijuana, amphetamine, MDMA, cocaine||2015-01-31||2016-01-11||Arrest date unknown beyond “early 2015”.|
|M||32||buyer||SR1||Germany||Fürth||marijuana, amphetamine, MDMA, cocaine||2015-01-31||2016-01-11|
|Mayank Kumar Sahu||M||22||buyer||Nucleus||India||Hyderabad||LSD||TRUE||2015-12-16||2015-12-22||Coverage does not indicate whether LSD was imported, but I’ve never seen any notes of indigenous Indian manufacture or retail of LSD, so I think it’s safe to classify as imported.|
|Piyush Kumar Sahu||M||20||buyer||Nucleus||India||Hyderabad||LSD||TRUE||2015-12-16||2015-12-22|
|Roger Thomas Clark||M||54||Variety Jones/cimon||staff||SR1||Thailand||Koh Chang Island||marijuana, source code, laundering||TRUE||2015-12-03||2015-12-03|
|Michael Wattier||M||Smedley||staff||SR1||Thailand||Pattaya||source code||2015-12-03|
|Fred J. Conforto||M||41||USA||NY||fentanyl, Xanax, cocaine, oxycodone||2016-01-15||2016-02-03|
|Alec Walker||M||29||USA||NY||fentanyl, Xanax, cocaine, oxycodone||2015-03-12||2016-02-03|
|Andrew Eklund||M||27||USA||NY||fentanyl, Xanax, cocaine, oxycodone||2015-03-19||2016-02-03|
|Zachary Reylek||M||26||USA||NY||fentanyl, Xanax, cocaine, oxycodone||2015-03-16||2016-02-03|
|Franz K.||M||26||buyer||Germany||Wendelstein||hash, marijuana||2016-01-29||Arrest date unspecified but sentenced in January 2016; so sometime in 2015?|
|M||19||Germany||Forcheim||marijuana, MDMA, LSD, amphetamine||2016-09-31||2016-01-30||“End of September”|
|M||19||Germany||Forcheim||marijuana, MDMA, LSD, amphetamine||2016-10-01||2016-01-30|
|M||22||Germany||Forcheim||marijuana, MDMA, LSD, amphetamine||2016-10-01||2016-01-30|
|M||22||Germany||Forcheim||marijuana, MDMA, LSD, amphetamine||2016-10-01||2016-01-30|
|M||20||Germany||Forcheim||marijuana, MDMA, LSD, amphetamine||2015-03-31||2016-01-30||“spring 2015”|
|M||20||Germany||Forcheim||marijuana, MDMA, LSD, amphetamine||2016-01-30|
|M||24||Germany||Bamberg||marijuana, MDMA, LSD, amphetamine||2016-01-30|
|M||22||Germany||Herzogenaurach||marijuana, MDMA, LSD, amphetamine||2016-01-30|
|Boden Gregory Bridge||M||19||seller||Agora||USA||WA||MDMA, Xanax, marijuana, psilocybin||TRUE||2015-12-04||2015-12-22|
|Tristan S. Brennand||M||20||seller||Agora||USA||WA||MDMA, Xanax, marijuana, psilocybin||TRUE||2015-12-04||2015-12-22|
|Dwain Osborne||M||26||buyer||UK||London||gun, cocaine, fake IDs, uniform||2015-10-31||2016-03-08||Undercover LE bust.|
|Michael Munro Junior M||37||buyer||SR2||USA||Louisiana||Xanax, oxycodone||TRUE||2014-11-31||2016-03-14||“According to the guilty plea, Munro was arrested in November of 2014 and July of 2015 for buying illegal narcotics online overseas”|
|Luke Fairless||M||21||buyer||SR2||UK||Leeds||MDMA, LSD, diazepam, DMT, mescaline||TRUE||2014-10-10||2016-03-21|
|Richard Petix||M||30||seller||USA||New York||Bitcoin||FALSE||2015-12-03||2016-03-20|
|Zhe Wang||M||20||buyer||USA||New York||Bitcoin, Xanax, MDMA||TRUE||2016-02-29||2016-03-20|
|Kevin Szura||M||20||buyer||USA||New York||Bitcoin, Xanax, MDMA||TRUE||2016-02-29||2016-03-20|
|Aditya Rajiv||M||28||seller||Scotland||Aberdeen||financial data||2016-03-24|
|M||31||ShanSa||seller||AlphaBay||Austria||Vienna||MDMA, amphetamine, LSD, cocaine||TRUE||2015-10-31||2016-04-14|
|Adam Yates||M||26||buyer||SR1||UK||Derby||MDMA, cocaine, ketamine||TRUE||2014-02-31||2016-04-18|
|Fadhle Muqbel Saeed||M||darkexpresso||seller||Evolution||USA||Florida||marijuana, meth, hydrocodone||2016-05-11||2016-05-24|
|J. V.-G. Lemus||M||seller||Evolution||USA||Florida||marijuana, meth, hydrocodone||2016-05-11||2016-05-24|
|A. B.-V.||M||Poncho||seller||Evolution||USA||Florida||marijuana, meth, hydrocodone||2016-05-11||2016-05-24|
|Tobias Wald||M||Natural Weed||seller||SR1||Germany||Neuhof||marijuana||2015-10-01|
|David Trail||M||26||operator||Topix2||Scotland||Edinburgh||diazepam, carding||TRUE||2014-11-06||2016-06-02|
|Amanda Callahan F||JumboMonkeyBiscuit||seller||SR1||USA||Maryland||Bitcoin||FALSE||2014-11-05||2016-07-01|
|Ross Brennan||M||buyer||UK||Exeter||diazepam, carding||TRUE||2016-06-01||2016-07-01|
|Kelly Brennan F||buyer||UK||Exeter||diazepam, carding||TRUE||2016-06-01||2016-07-01|
|Aaron James Glende||M||35||IcyEagle||seller||AlphaBay||USA||Minnesota||carding, Xanax, oxycodone, diazepam||FALSE||2016-03-11||2016-07-26|
|David Ryan Burchard||M||38||CaliConnect||seller||AlphaBay||USA||California||marijuana, cocaine||FALSE||2016-01-21||2016-04-01|
|Moynul Haque||M||21||buyer||UK||Smethwick||gun, amphetamine||TRUE||2015-04-31||2016-07-02|
|Chrissano S. Leslie||M||26||owlcity||seller||AlphaBay||USA||Florida||fentanyl, alpha-PVP, MDMA, cocaine, Xanax||2016-07-27||2016-08-02|
|Abdullah Almashwali||M||31||Area51/DarkApollo||seller||AlphaBay||USA||New York||heroin, cocaine||2016-08-02||2016-08-12|
|Chaudhry A. Farooq||M||24||Area51/DarkApollo||seller||AlphaBay||USA||New York||heroin, cocaine||2016-08-02||2016-08-12|
|Zhe Wang||M||20||buyer||USA||New York||MDMA, Xanax||TRUE||2015-10-29||2016-09-05|
|Kevin Szura||M||buyer||USA||New York||MDMA, Xanax||TRUE||2015-10-29||2016-09-05|
|Cary Lee Ogborn||M||50||boatmanstv||buyer||AlphaBay||USA||Texas||bomb, MDMA||FALSE||2016-09-16||2016-09-19|
|seller||AlphaBay||bomb||2016-09-19||Entry for the AlphaBay seller account which sold to Ogborn and likely was flipped.|
|Emil V. Babadjov||M||31||Blime-Sub/BTH-Overdose||seller||AlphaBay, Dream||USA||California||fentanyl, heroin||TRUE||2016-12-09||2016-12-15||Also had a profile on Valhalla but it is unclear whether he was the one that created and controlled it (since it has a different public PGP key and Valhalla is known to allow vendor impostors)|
|Michael C. Paiva||M||30||buyer||SR2||USA||Michigan||LSD, MDMA, DMT, DOM, mushrooms||2016-12-31||2017-03-09||Unknown arrest date.|
|M||42||ErKran||seller||Agora, Evolution, Valhalla||Sweden||benzodiazepines, marijuana||TRUE||2016-07-15||Allegedly also vended on Flugsvamp and Nucleus|
|M||25||ErKran||seller||Agora, Evolution, Valhalla||Sweden||benzodiazepines, marijuana||TRUE||2016-07-15||Allegedly also vended on Flugsvamp and Nucleus|
|Stijn Victor||M||25||Evilution||seller||Belgium||amphetamine||TRUE||2016-10-25||Vendor also had three unnamed accomplices|
|Ted Khleborod||M||28||Peter the Great||seller||AlphaBay, Dream||USA||South Carolina||U-47700||2017-04-06||2017-04-26|
|Ana Barrero||F||24||Peter the Great||seller||AlphaBay, Dream||USA||South Carolina||U-47700||2017-04-06||2017-04-26||girlfriend of Ted Khleborod, helped shipping|
4 Australians were arrested for trying to buy guns from US LE-controlled seller “weaponsguy” February - March 2015, searches also turning up “Four illegal firearms, ammunition, two clandestine laboratories, precursor chemicals, methamphetamines, pseudoephedrine, steroids”. One of these was 26yo Auckland man Buddy Lipczynski was arrested ~2015-02-27 as part of the US “weaponsguy” sting; while out on bail, around January 2016 he was re-arrested for possession of “methylamphetamine” (presumably methamphetamine).
A longtime steroids vendor “Diamonddweller” (active on SR1, SR2, Evolution, and finally Agora) sold a variety of substances sourced from the “Diamond Pharma” underground lab (shipping from somewhere in the eastern EU), but went silent (including his Reddit account) around March 2015. A Redditor who has dealt with them claims it was a team of 2 men, that the Diamond Pharma website is likewise silent, and they sometimes wrote in Danish. 2015-03-12, Danish police announced a historic arrest of 2 men in Copenhagen with searches turning up anywhere up to 1000kg of substances, the end-result of an investigation sparked by customs intercepts of packages shipping out internationally in September 2014 to meet “an extensive illegal trade of anabolic steroids on the Internet” sold on “both open and closed forums”. Given the timing and niche product and other similarities, I agree with the Redditor that this Denmark bust was highly likely Diamonddweller.
An unknown number (<10) of European buyers were arrested for buying guns from the US LE-controlled seller “weaponsguy”, sometime between September 2014 & May 2015.
2015-01-29, German police searched several locations & arrested 5 Germans for gun sales (especially for machine gun sales); a media article focusing on one of them mentions his appearance in a Vice documentary about Internet sales of guns over presumably the DNMs. (It’s unclear if or how the other 4 are involved.) The next day the Agora gun (and auto/semi-auto gun) seller Dosensuppe went on vacation, leading to questions on the Agora forums about whether he, MaxMustermann or PROJEKTIL was the arrested man. Dosensuppe replied on 2015-03-11 that he had not been arrested but was going on vacation for his personal safety; he did not respond to requests for a PGP signature or posted or sold since. Given the Vice connection and the rash of German/Dutch arrests 2014-2015, it seems highly likely that this was either Agora or Evolution associated, and of the few gun sellers, Dosensuppe fits the best. Confirmation of 32yo man Christian L’s arrest in October 2015 came later, for selling ~65 weapons, and was sentenced to 5.5 years jail; his arrest stemmed from a November 2014 Customs intercept of a gun order at an airport and, presumably, backtracing.
2015-08-06, 3 Indian men (J Manikantan, Debyendu Roy, Jag Saipravesh) were arrested after a police informant bought from them drugs (“Ecstasy, LSD, charas and ganja”) which they had purchased on Agora and were selling to “students of reputed engineering colleges in the city”.
2015-08-26, two Irish men, Richard Sinclair & Kyle Hall, were raided, turning up MDMA/marijuana/diazepam/LSD and customer records of >£204,000 in sales, and other items. Sinclair turned out to be the former SR2/TMG/Agora seller “JerseyCow”, who had officially retired some time previously but had apparently resumed direct-dealing of MDMA with a few old customers in England with stealthed jigsaw puzzles; Hall was in a quasi-partnership with Sinclair as the seller “No1Benzos”. (Media: 1, 2, 3.)
The Dutch SR1/SR2/Agora LSD/MDMA/ketamine seller “HollandOnline” was arrested 2014-12-26 a policeman (possibly part of the ongoing investigation of HollandOnline by Dutch police) observed a drug transfer between two men, one of was HollandOnline from Ijmuiden. Then later, on 2015-03-09, the other man (likely HollandOnline’s supplier) and a business partner of his (the Amsterdam & Utrecht men) were also arrested.
Two men, aged 42 and 25, were behind the vendor alias ErKran. They vended on Agora, Evolution, Valhalla and allegedly on Flugsvamp and Nucleus too. According to an article (english translation), Swedish Customs discovered packages heading into the country that contained significant quantities of drugs. The initial package was seized and they proceeded to notify the police, who then started to discover that many packages were going to multiple addresses throughout Gothenburg. Each package was addressed to a non-existent company in industrial areas where ErKran was able to easily pick them up. After police discovered which address was used most frequently, a sting operation was set in motion. When the 42-year-old man showed up to empty the mailbox, he got arrested. Police claim he was carrying 160,000 Sek ($18,652 USD), a handgun and a small quantity of drugs. A 25-year-old male was then picked up and taken in to questioning where it was discovered that their operation had been running from a warehouse outside Gothenburg. Inside the warehouse police found and seized computers, drugs, packaging materials and an automatic weapon. With the seized computers as evidence, investigators learned about their online vendor alias ErKran. The 42-year-old is also implicated in another case in Sweden where school-kids on a forest excursion stumbled upon a cache of drugs. The teacher notified the police who, at the time, were apparently unable to link anyone to the crime. Apparently the 42-year-old is a suspect in that matter now.
2014-12-11, the American Ryan Andrew Gustafson was arrested in Uganda for counterfeiting money (press release; complaint; docket; Agora forums); he was the seller “Willy.Clock” who had sold on Evolution until banned and then Agora & his own site. He had been uncovered after an American user of his counterfeit currency was detected, the packages sent by Willy.Clock profiled, his fingerprints found, the reshipper located in Uganda, and then an undercover deal set up; he was deported from Uganda to the USA on 2015-12-03 to face trial in the USA as well. In addition to Gustafson, Zackary L. Ruiz (“Mr. Mouse”), Jeremy J. Miller (“Sinner”) and Michael Q. Lin (“Mlin”/“Mr. Casino”) were also arrested in the USA.
35yo Perth man Steven Kennedy was arrested around 2014-09-05 when an order of marijuana from Canada was intercepted by Customs; after an apparent knock-and-talk, he admitted everything and pled guilty.
An unknown number of UK buyers (<10) were arrested for buying guns from the US LE-controlled seller “weaponsguy”, sometime between September 2014 & May 2015.
Jeffrey Paul Lloyd was arrested on 2015-03-26 after a search turned up a cache of weapons (knives, an axe, crossbow, pepper spray, a pipe gun, and 9mm & shotgun ammo), most or all of which had been purchased on Agora, and was sentenced to 6 years. The tipoff was said to be that “The court heard the Metropolitan Police was monitoring the websites” and “The different details were provided to the Met Police by a seller in Germany as a customer had purchased prohibited ammunition and firearms”; it’s unclear if this means that another weapons-seller on Agora was a UC, or if a seller had been arrested and kept customer details and who that seller might be (currently no weapons-associated seller arrests in Germany are known for March 2015).
In mid-2014, the Agora guns & weapon seller “weaponsguy” began receiving complaints of packages not arriving & being a scammer; in November 2014, he returned from a vacation, got the complaining buyer to vouch for him, and resumed selling guns & related equipment. I have identified “weaponsguy” as the ATF-controlled account which did undercover sales to Justin Moreira in March-April 2015, in which case it seems likely to me that weaponsguy followed the same lifecycle as Dark_Mart and other FBI-controlled accounts on Evolution and was busted sometime around or after the complaints began, cooperated and his account began to be operated by LE (ATF in this case). An Australian press release writes “In September 2014, the HSI investigation led to the identification of a 33-year-old man in Montana for the operation of the online alias account…In September 2014, HSI agents commenced a covert operation using the online alias account.” (HSI, NCA, and the Australians have declined to comment on my identification of the seller as weaponsguy.)
In June 2016, the guilty plea of 35yo Kansan Michael Andrew Ryan (“Brad Jones”/“Gunrunner”) was made public (case #5:15-cr-40050-DDC-1; press release; indictment; parole charge; plea agreement; docket), his federal case unsealed on PACER, and sentencing scheduled for September 2016; he pled to charges from June 2015 of using 2 straw buyers, his ex-girlfriend Allison Mitchell and a Marlo Martin, to buy guns, and shipping a number of guns internationally to customers in Ireland, Scotland, & Australia, as well as possession of a firearm while on out release, and was sentenced to 52 months in January 2017. Given his age, Midwest location, business, countries he sold to, and charges dating to after weaponsguy was likely busted, I identify Ryan as weaponsguy, although some aspects do not match up (for example, Ryan’s initial pleas and request for jury trial, despite the presence of some sealed files on PACER, is hard to reconcile with him cooperating and turning over his Agora account to be used to entrap buyers). The press release & indictment are unspecific about which DNM he used, or how he was caught, and the plea agreement specifies use of BMR without any mention of Agora/weaponsguy, so I could be wrong.
In January 2015, Austin Frembling was arrested in Fresno, California, for buying $3k of MDMA off Agora from a Canadian seller (press release; complaint; docket; previous record). His package was intercepted by Customs (possibly due to inadequate stealth), then a controlled delivery was done to his PO box.
2015-01-30, 48yo Alabaman Michael Albert Focia (complaint; media; press release) was arrested for sales of firearms on BlackMarket Reloaded (as “iWorks”) and Agora (as “RTBArms”); an undercover purchase by the ATF in August 2013 yielded a handgun which they traced back to the original owner, who remembered the license plates & phone number and other details of the man who he’d sold the handgun to, as well as a UPS clerk, and by November 2013 had yielded Focia’s name/address/etc. A subsequent undercover purchase from Focia on Agora yielded fingerprints on the packaging which matched fingerprints already known for Focia. A pro se defense failed and he was convicted of most charges 2015-06-19, and was sentenced to 4.25 years in November 2015. (Interestingly, Focia may have almost escaped: BMR shut down shortly after the first agent de-anonymized Focia, which stymied several other BMR investigations, and the second agent seems to not realized that the Agora seller he was investigating was the same as the earlier BMR seller until the fingerprints came back as a known match. Changing pseudonyms may interfere with investigations, but is no panacea.)
Case unsealed as to Michael Albert Focia pursuant to U. S. Marshal notice of arrest (jct, ) [2:15-mj-00021-SRW] (Entered: 01/30/2015) Arrest of Michael Albert Focia (jct, ) [2:15-mj-00021-SRW] (Entered: 01/30/2015)
2015-04-02, the Massachusetts man Justin Moreira (“jd497”) was arrested for ordering a handgun & silencer from an ATF-controlled seller on a DNM (press release; complaint). The complaint does not specify the market or seller, but some careful searching reveals that the market was Agora and the seller was highly likely to be “weaponsguy”, who seemed to have been arrested and flipped possibly in November 2014, running a gun sting afterwards with several sales on Agora (but that feedback could have been padded). The Australian press release implies that there may have been up to 9 other arrests in the USA, and narrows the date down to September 2014.
2015-05-14, SUNY Oswego college student Dylan C. Soeffing was raided and arrested for reselling marijuana & Xanax locally he had bought off Agora from “MoodyMayhem” & “Benzoman”. A May 2016 FinCEN award to the investigators confirms that Soeffing was discovered by review of ‘suspicious activity reports’ filed by the banks & financial institutions he used to deposit cash into & purchase Bitcoins: “Specific banking transactions conducted by the subject were traced to the purchases of virtual currency and then to the Dark Web market.”
As part of the Willy.Clock investigation leading up to his arrest in Uganda, at least 3 Americans were indicted on 2015-04-01: Zackary L. Ruiz (“Mr. Mouse”) of Nevada, Jeremy J. Miller (“Sinner”) of Washington, and Michael Q. Lin (“Mlin”/“Mr. Casino”) of Pennsylvania. They seem to have worked with Willy.Clock or been part of his non-DNM private forums and so are not DNM arrests.
19/20yo Washington men Boden Gregory Bridge & Tristan Simpson Brennand were arrested in December 2015 (PACER:
2:15-cr-00384; docket); an informant reported about Brennand selling on Agora & Evolution after importing from Germany & India, leading to intercepts of some of the DNM sales and eventually the arrests.
Sometime in October 2015, the 31yo male Viennese AlphaBay seller “ShanSa” was arrested in Austria; the search turned up records of 182 international & 73 Austrian sales, amphetamine/MDMA/cocaine/LSD/RCs/tablet machine.
38yo Californian man David Ryan Burchard (“CaliConnect”/“the_real_caliconnect”/“caliconnect4life”), a major marijuana & cocaine on SR1 (DoJ claims >$1.4m in sales based on the SR1 server image1) and then Agora, Nucleus, Abraxas, and AlphaBay, was raided 2016-01-21 and arrested 2016-03-28 (press release; complaint), following an investigation starting March 2015 into the large number of bitcoins he had been selling to an “unlicensed digital currency exchanger” (possibly another SR1 user named “fishing01”) which, after tracking devices monitored him dropping off packages & unencrypted PMs contained tracking numbers from the SR1 server image was further linked to his area, was combined with an earlier postal investigation into an undeliverable package which was opened & contained marijuana and Burchard’s packages were intercepted; the unencrypted SR1 PMs further indicated that CaliConnect was using MoneyPak and gave the transaction IDs of several, one of which MoneyPak & AccountNow subpoenas revealed was paid to David Burchard, and had sent his personal information unencrypted to a SR1 seller of fake IDs and a benzo seller. This was followed up by an undercover purchase on AlphaBay (Burchard’s primary market in 2016) & surveillance of Burchard mailing it. After the raid, several of Burchard’s computer records were decrypted by trying a password he reused on a subpoenaed website, revealing at least 49 buyer records.2
35yo Minnesotan man Aaron James Glende (“IcyEagle”) was raided 2016-03-11 based on USPS information, turning up Xanax & cash & “other prescriptions” (charged with Xanax, oxycodone, amphetamine, diazepam, and marijuana); the local Minnesota case was apparently promoted to the federal level as the fully sealed case 1:16-mj-366. In July 2016, charges in another (apparently unrelated?) case were filed in Georgia based on an undercover agent purchase of bank account information from IcyEagle (case gandce 1:2016-cr-00239; press release; indictment) but he had already been arrested. Neither the press release nor indictment specifies how an undercover purchase of digital information could possibly lead to his deanonymization or arrest, and the majority of documents in that case as well as the complaint have been sealed. (I wonder what the connection between the cases is, why Glende was still selling even after his raid, and what all the sealing is about in his case?)
26yo South Florida man Chrissano S. Leslie (“Owlcity”), who sold fentanyl, alpha-PVP, MDMA, cocaine & Xanax, was raided & arrested 2016-07-27 (complaint). The DEA had made a number of undercover buys which were mailed from south Florida, and de-anonymized Owlcity when he checked the USPS.com tracking number of one of the undercover orders, revealing his IP to the USPS: “On February 26, 2016, DEA agents received information from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) that the tracking status of the Priority Mail package that OWLCITY sent to complete the October 23, 2015 heroin order was queried online on the U.S. Postal Service website from an IP address assigned by AT&T to an account associated with the Leslie Residence.” After that, they began in-person surveillance of Leslie, watching him drive to the post office with additional orders & intercepted the packages, ISP monitoring of Tor activity, correlation of Owlcity inactivity with computer repair, and finally a raid 2016-07-27.
2016-08-02, Pakistani & Yemeni men Abdullah Almashwali (31) and Chaudhry Ahmed Farooq (24) were arrested in NY for selling cocaine & heroin on Alphabay (although they’d also sold on Dream, Oasis, Nucleus & Agora) as the sellers “Area51”/“DarkApollo” (complaint, press release, media) An investigation starting March 2016 began with their PGP keys whose metadata used a nickname that led to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts; subpoenas turned up Farooq’s real name although he was already under investigation by the DEA (detailed are sealed/redacted due to use of a “confidential source”). Some undercover purchases on AB found they reused a Brooklyn return address, LE lifted fingerprints from the package, and the packages’ postage had been paid for from postage kiosks which take credit cards & photographs of buyers (see also “MDpro”) and the mail cover database turned up further packages linked to them (likely searching for other packages using the same return address & checking postage purchase records again).
50yo Texan man Cary Lee Ogborn was arrested on 2016-09-16 in a controlled delivery after trying to buy explosives off an undercover FBI seller on Alphabay (press release; complaint; media: 1, 2); worsening his troubles, he communicated with the undercover agent using a clearnet email account linked to his name & IP.
Emil Vladimirov Babadjov (31) was arrested on 2016-12-09 for selling fentanyl and heroin on Alphabay and Dream (complaint, press release). He also had a profile on Valhalla but it is unclear whether he was the one that created and controlled it, since it has listed a different public PGP key and Valhalla is known to allow vendor impostors. The main investigation started in September 2016 when his PGP key’s metadata led the agents to his Facebook and Coinbase account. A subpoena to Coinbase then revealed his real name and the agents started making orders from the Blime-Sub vendor account on Alphabay. Due to the Postage Validation Imprinter (PVI) a US postal inspector was able to see that the postage for one parcel was bought on 2016-09-18 via a Self-Service Kiosk (SSK) near Babadjov’s known address. The man on the photo that was taken by the SSK system during the transaction was identified as Emil Babadjov according to the drivers license and social media photos of Babadjov. On 2016-11-16, the agents received another response from the DEA western regional lab that stated that two fingerprints belonging to Babadjov were found on the exterior of a parcel that they ordered in an UC purchase. More details to the bust here.
Ted Khleborod (28) and Ana Barrero (24) were arrested on April 26, 2017 for selling U-47700. Law enforcement started investigating Peter the Great when a customer of him overdosed. They found out that the overdosed customer (Aisha Zughbieh-Collins) bought from him due to bad OpSec on her side. After they did a test-purchase from the vendor, they got an email address used for purchasing the shipping label for the sent package. A subpoena to that email provider turned up the vendor’s real name (Ted Khleborod). He and his girlfriend (Ana Barrero) were put under surveillance for three days and she was seen dropping off dozens of parcels with labels matching those of the law enforcement test-purchase. Then they got arrested. Article
See the Utopia section.
On ~2014-01-08, the Israeli man Amit Sand was arrested for buying a gun off a DNM seller for ~$1550 in bitcoins; the first package of parts (mailed 2013-12-18) was discovered by Customs and allowed to go through, and he was arrested after picking up the final second package. I assign this buy to BMR, since while BMR had closed a week or two before the first package was mailed, the deal could have been agreed upon earlier, and no other major market allowed guns at the time; this may be like the Korff case, where the purchase (ricin, in his case) began on BMR but continued off-market after BMR closed.
In August 2013, the ATF did an undercover gun purchase from the BMR seller “iWorks” and by November 2013 had identified iWorks as Michael Albert Focia; possibly due to the BMR shut down, he was not arrested until January 2015 after a second undercover purchase on Agora from Focia’s new pseudonym, “RTBArms”. See the Agora section for details of his case.
2013-09-10, Adam Bunger was arrested in Kentucky for multiple international gun sales on BMR as likely the seller “Grass4Cash” (complaint; #1:13-cr-00037-JHM-HBB-1); he eventually pled guilty and was sentenced to 2 years. His case began 2013-06-28 when Australian Customs intercepted a gun shipment; the recipient was arrested & he cooperated, and the packages backtracked a post office in Kentucky, and the postal clerk identified Bunger.
2013-11-06, the BMR gun dealer Matthew Crisafi (“Gun Wise”) was arrested (complaint; press release), ultimately pleading guilty; a series of undercover buys appears to have identified him by interviewing local post office employees, followed up by additional confirmation from a gun purchase where Crisafi accepted Western Union payment (he didn’t receive the WU himself, a ‘co-conspirator’ did, but they then turned it into postal money orders for Matthew Crisafi).
The closure of BMR in December 2013 did not end investigations into users, and the FBI was able to make 4 inter-connected busts related to BMR’s poison sellers. The first bust was Jesse William Korff (complaint), BMR seller “Snowman840”, who was arrested 2014-01-18; an FBI undercover agent had ordered ricin from him, beginning on BMR and then off-market after it closed, and they arranged a dead drop in Florida - except the location was specified in advance, so they were able to surveil Korff dropping the ricin off personally. Korff and his laptop yielded information about a sale of purified nicotine oil to to Ryan Kelly Chamberlain and to Kuntal Patel.
Kuntal Patel was a UK woman who had bought abrin from Korff to kill her mother (the attempt apparently failed because abrin is much less deadly ingested than inhaled); information from Korff led to her being arrested 2014-01-26, and she ultimately received 3 years
The next bust was in NYC: the Swedish man Jonathan Norling turned himself in at a police station with cyanide & abrin; the police chose to arrest him & charge him. Norling cooperated, and the mail records of his order led them to his BMR seller, James Christopher Malcolm, who, during the same post office visit he had mailed Norling’s order, had also mailed off an order to Ryan Kelly Chamberlain.
James Christopher Malcolm (press release; complaint) was arrested 2014-05-04 in California, based principally on the work of a local informant (cooperating to get leniency on pre-existing charges that seem unrelated to BMR), and the BMR connection came up later.
Finally, Ryan Kelly Chamberlain was arrested 2014-06-02 (complaint) in San Francisco, California, for possession of bomb/IED parts (despite buying from Malcolm & Korff, he apparently didn’t have any poisons on hand). His complaint details the web of interactions connecting him to Norling, Malcolm, & Korff. (Korff → Chamberlain ← Malcolm ← Norling.)
There may be additional unknown gun-related BMR USA cases, given the roughly June-August 2013 comments of DEA agent Carl Force to DPR1 (emphasis added):
BMR is on the radar and that is ATF’s baby. Politics plays a significant role in prioritization of which agency gets to own which investigations. The climate is aggressive when it comes to weapons trafficking and with the gun control hot potato has guaranteed virtually a carte blanche to ATF. And they have deep pockets as well. Because tor based weapons traffickers are almost always running guns IRL, there is synergy between federal and state. Federal approves staggering sums of money for surveillance,undercover and CI’s. I don’t want to say BMR is “infiltrated”, but there are a lot of compromised accounts and there have been a few quiet busts. Nearly every bust has resulted in cooperation. I am not sure what the long play is, but as long as this current administration is in power the gunrunners will always be hard targets. They are intimidated with the threat of tangible charges (interstate trafficking, conspiracy, organized crime, distribution) and they ALL cooperate. The general consensus is that weapons dealers are not sophisticated and have a lot of IRL visibility, so they are ALWAYS on the radar.
By August 2013, the Grass4Cash Australia buyer had been busted and the Grass4Cash investigation was largely mature, but then the next BMR gun arrest was Gun Wise in November 2013; given Force’s wording, it sounds like there should be at least 2 unknown busts and many more “compromised accounts” (buyers?), indicating that at least half the cases are missing.
2015-02-26, the 20-yo German man, the seller “Shiny Flakes” on Evolution & his clearnet site
shiny-flakes.to, was arrested together with his Bulgarian courier/supplier (interview; media: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; confession). This was the culmination of a long German police investigation into him, which was sparked by an undelivered package which was opened for insufficient postage bouncing to the fake return addresses, which lead to profiling of his packages, tracing them back through the postal system, surveillance of package stations and him mailing them, and finally undercover buys & seizures of additional packages. Shiny Flakes had not purged his customers’ data, and in conjunction with the profiling & intercepting of sent packages, this led to a reported total of “38 locations were searched and five other individuals were arrested” on 2015-03-10 (“38 homes of people that were on the alleged dealer’s customer list”). He was ultimately sentenced to 7 years as a juvenile.
2015-03-27, Swedish police announced that they had detained 7 or 8 suspects who were selling drugs (principally: marijuana, LSD, & MDMA) online using “Silk Road and Evolution…from 2012 onward…to recipients in Sweden and to other countries worldwide” and arrested 4. 6 of them were charged in June 2015 and identified as the seller “Alexandrus”, who sold on 6 markets but primarily Evolution; the police press conference indicates that after 3 packages of marijuana fudge/brownies were searched, an investigation was launched and after surveiling post offices, one of the men was observed dropping off some of Alexandrus’ packages (“up to 60 per day”).
2014-11-03, the then-18yo Newcastle man Liam Lyburd (buyer “The Joker” / “I Love My Anger”/“Donald Trump”) was arrested after a 2014-11-02 Facebook post threatening to carry out a mass-killing at Newcastle College was reported to police by a friend; he was convicted 2015-07-30 and sentenced to life in September 2015 (overview of case). The police search turned up a handgun & ammo, 7 bombs, and other items; some of which he had “bought using bitcoins, the decentralised internet currency, from the dark or deep web, the black market where illegal commodities are know to be traded”, one of the markets being Evolution
The Liverpool man Mohammed Ammer Ali was arrested 2015-02-11 after he ordered ricin from an undercover FBI account, found guilty in July 2015, and eventually sentenced to 8 years in September 2015. Initial reports did not specify market, but given the many details consistent with it and the BMR precedent, this was obviously another case in the Evolution FBI sting using the flipped Dark_Mart account; the use of Evolution was eventually confirmed during the trial in July 2015.
Two Manchester teenagers were arrested 2015-02-16 for attempting that month to buy abrin off an unspecified DNM for suicide, after the UK police were informed in January about their negotiations for it. The female was released immediately, and the male eventually received a 12-month referral order.
“In or about mid-2014” the TCF/Evolution seller “Dark_Mart” was taken over by the FBI3. The details are unknown, but Dark_Mart rejoined the Evolution forums after a long absence spanning that period with a comment about guns bringing heat on his suppliers4, which may or may not be the FBI agent telling the truth to be safe.
Stephen & Cynthia Jones were arrested 2014-10-02 after a controlled delivery (“CD”) of a package of MDMA from what may be the Evolution Dutch seller “weedybusnis” (he had many complaints of non-arriving or slow packages, suggesting his stealth is subpar or he’s been profiled).
The New York carder Cheng Le (Evolution seller “FNU”/“fnufnu”) was arrested 2014-12-23 & convicted August 2015 & sentenced to 16 years after buying the poison ricin from the Evolution seller “Dark_Mart”, who turned out to have been flipped “In or about mid-2014” by the FBI (press release; complaint; Evolution pages). (See also the two UK arrests in February 2015 for abrin.)
A fentanyl OD death in North Dakota (as well as several other OD deaths or incidents) triggered a complicated multi-state investigation that seems to have resulted in charges for at least 6 people involved in buying or selling fentanyl on Evolution. (Media: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.) In Grand Forks North Dakota, Ryan Jensen sold fentanyl to Henke. Henke died on 2015-01-03, triggering a search of the house the same day, revealing his friend, Jensen, had bought it from a domestic Evolution seller, Brandon Hubbard. (Hubbard’s seller account is not identified in the media or few available court documents, but he may have been the seller “pdxblack”, given the PDX acronym and accusation that a buyer “Montey6456” was falsely claiming to have been arrested.) Jensen and the other two people who smoked fentanyl with Henke were all 3 charged (Jensen plea agreement). They then did undercover buys from Hubbard, busting him in Portland Oregon after searches 2015-01-22 (Hubbard complaint). He cooperated, pled guilty, and Hubbard turned out to source his fentanyl from China through a Canadian contact, using Steven Locke as a drop who was paid in fentanyl (he was indicated 2015-03-10). Hubbard’s girlfriend, Channing Lacey, was later arrested 2015-03-05 but had smuggled in some fentanyl, leading to another 3 overdoses. Collectively, 5+ ODs or deaths were involved.
2016-05-11, a federal court case was filed in Florida charging Fadhle Muqbel Saeed under the pseudonyms “darkexpresso”/“bonappetit”/“Damien Darko”, along with Julian Villa-Gomez Lemus & Alfonso Bojorquez-Vazquez, for sale of marijuana, methamphetamine, and hydrocodone 2012–2015. No further details were given in the indictment or docket as of 2016-05-24. Lemus was found guilty in January 2017 & the other two pled guilty shortly before. “darkexpresso” was a SR1 vendor who sold marijuana; “bonappetit” was a seller on Evolution up until he disappeared sometime around the end date cited in the indictment.
The operator of the minor marketplace Hydra was detained or arrested in Budapest, Hungary as part of Operation Onymous; the date is unclear but probably before 2014-11-07 & simultaneous with the other arrests on 2014-11-05.
2015-12-16, 2 Hyderabad brothers (20/22yo) Mayank Kumar Sahu & Piyush Kumar Sahu were arrested for purchasing LSD off Nucleus; the LSD had been given to 3 other Indian men for local resale, who had been busted and informed on the Sahus.
In March 2015, news broke that the Czech man Tomáš Jiřikovský was the target of a criminal complaint for money laundering related to large sales of bitcoins for Czech crowns deposited into his wife’s account, reported by her bank, which were then used to purchase a house (the house was seized). Jiřikovský had been identified in November 2013 by an anonymous American, based on circumstantial evidence, as the operator of Sheep Marketplace, not long before Sheep shut down in an apparent exit scam; it’s unknown whether that doxing has any connection to the money-laundering accusation or if that was triggered purely by the money transfers, or when exactly the complaint was filed & house seized (the news broke publicly in March 2015 but the finance ministry 2014 report mentioning the case is dated 2015-02-22 and the investigation may’ve begun January 2014). He was then arrested sometime before 2016-04-30 on both money laundering & drug charges; as of 2016-08-16 he was (but not his wife) was still in prison; as of April 2017 he & his wife were apparently on trial:
According to regional reports, Jiřikovský and his wife Eve who was allegedly Sheep’s programmer have been going through the motions of trial and will likely be sentenced in the near future. “He faces 10 to 18 years in prison,” said Hynek Olma, a spokesman for the regional prosecutor’s office. “We filed the indictment for crimes of unauthorized production and the handling of narcotic and psychotropic substances, theft and illegal possession of firearms. The woman was charged with the crime of legalization of proceeds from crime”, explained Olma. Olma added that Eve was facing three to eight years in prison for being an accomplice. The U.S. had also arrested two individuals connected with Jiřikovský and his wife back in May of 2016. Nathan Gibson and Sean Mackert tried to convert the funds via Coinbase and were caught by government agencies in the state of Florida. Coinbase at the time received a subpoena and revealed Gibson had deposited over 842 bitcoins with the company.
In October 2017, Czech media reported that Eva/Eve had not been convicted but Jiřikovský had & was sentenced to 9 years.
In 2014, media articles revealed that 2 Swedish men had been arrested in the Malmö region but did not give details. Another article reports that they had been arrested 2013-11-27, they had been selling “cannabis, amphetamines, MDMA, cocaine and pills” in considerable volume (at least 1500 sales, starting on Silk Road 1), and the police had conducted several undercover buys from them on Sheep Marketplace, leading to their de-anonymization and then phone & physical surveillance. Nowhere is it mentioned which seller this is; “ChrisHash” initially seemed a likely candidate but he seems to have still been active as of September 2014 and so can be rejected, and there is no available information about Flugsvamp’s “christianiaexpressen”. Searching my Sheep mirror from ~2013-12-01 (~4 days after the two men’s arrest), I found there seemed to be only a few sellers who shipped out of Sweden: “Livefromsweden” / “LFS”, “KurtsDroghandel”, “Freedom Express”, “Sweetkush”, and “swelease”. I ignore Freedom Express (sold only Xanax), Sweetkush (only amphetamine), KurtsDroghandel (only weed, hashish, & LSD), leaving LFS & swelease. swelease did sell amphetamine, MDMA, and Ritalin (which could be “pills”), but my mirror says he was last logged in “10 hours ago”, which is not very consistent with having been arrested; in contrast, LFS is almost a perfect match as they sold a great deal of amphetamine, cocaine, weed, and two pill listings (“tilnoct, Swedish pharmacy, 10mg”, “Tramadol, 100mg, Hexal”), so they match except for not selling MDMA, and they boast that “on SR i was topp [sic] 10% domestic seller in Sweden with many transactions made.”; and finally, they were last logged in “4 days ago”, or around when the two men were arrested. Hence, I identify these two men as being the SR1/Sheep seller Livefromsweden. Complicating the narrative, the LFS bust may have only been half the story; a Swedish police article describes the bust of a seller in Helsingborg (he was sentenced to 8 years), then 2 young men who are clearly LFS from the timing & location & age & sentences, then a fourth arrest in Malmo (he was sentenced to 7 years). While the Helsingborg and Malmo men sound like they were part of LFS, I am a little doubtful because none of the initial LFS media coverage mentioned 2 others being charged.
The prosecution & conviction of the SR seller Paul Leslie Howard (“Shadh1”) was to related to a Customs interception of his large imports from Netherlands/Germany according to the judge’s sentencing verdict and then a July 2012 search.
Another Australian seller (unknown which one, possibly “DownUnderDan” or “DopeBoyAus”), Christopher Owen, was pulled over by police on 2012-04-27 while driving to the post office to mail shipments, the drugs found, his house searched, and was sentenced to 5 years (discussion).
Sometime in August 2012, the MDMA buyer Ryan West, who resold locally, was raided and eventually convicted of 4 charges.
2 unnamed teens made the mistake of ordering marijuana, MDMA, and amphetamines from SR1; their parents turned them in & they were charged in September 2012.
A 2012-11-07 Australian article claims 30 interceptions a month in an area, but mentions nothing specific about arrests. A December 2012 article quotes Customs claiming a 40% increase in seizures, but then quotes a SR seller as claiming a doubling or quadrupling of Australian buyers (hence, implying the interception rate has halved or worse). Estimating total number of Australian users is difficult, but the 2012 Global Drug Survey reportedly found 184 SR purchasers in its sample of >6600 Australians suggesting a risk of arrest or publicity <5⁄184 (and incidentally, remembering this is a biased sample and the South Australian recent illicit drug use rate is ~14.9%, it suggests a very loose upper bound of all Australian SR users of 23000000 × 0.149 × 184⁄6600 < 95541).
The teen Preston Bridge died accidentally after falling on 2013-02-16 after taking “synthetic LSD” (probably NBOMe) bought by a friend on Silk Road; the friend was prosecuted & sentenced to 12 months’ probation on 2014-06-09.
On 2013-02-19, Samuel Ryan Ludwig was arrested & bailed after a search of his home prompted by a package intercepted by Customs on 2013-02-15. (The search turned up MDMA, LSD, ketamine, methylamphetamine, and amphetamine.) That was one of ~7 packages intercepted October 2012 - February 2013; 5 more, containing drugs, laser pointers, and safrole oil would be intercepted February-March 2013, and additional MDMA & laser pointer packages would be intercepted, triggering another search of Ludwig’s residence while he was out on bail and a second arrest 2013-08-22.
Also on 2013-02-19, Patrick Franzini was arrested after a search related to 3 customs interceptions November 2012 - February 2013 of methamphetamine & MDMA sent from Netherlands, Canada, & China. The search turned up pseudoephedrine, DMT, and ketamine; Franzini cooperated, providing additional information like his SR1 account (he had made a total of 19 orders).
2013-06-20, an Australian man was arrested after a CD of safrole oil (a MDMA precursor) imported from Indonesia; this was part of an investigation triggered by Customs intercepting 4 Indonesian packages of safrole oil. The Indonesian seller was later arrested in Indonesia.
On 2013-02-21, Lee James Matthews’s home was searched and he was arrested. ~2 of 21 packages had been intercepted, and the search turned up MDMA, cocaine, methamphetamine, & amphetamines from his 93 orders, most of which he resold locally.
Reportedly (2013-07-01), a June 2013 Parcel Post sting seized 140 packages/$8m & “Six of those arrested were Silk Road members.” These 6 arrests are currently unknown aside from 1 likely being a safrole oil buyer. (Possibly 5, if one assumes that Adam Bunger’s BMR Australian customer is included in that count and the quote is slightly inaccurate.)
As of July 2013, there was “at least one criminal prosecution in WA [Western Australia] that involves Silk Road”, and WA police estimate “47 active Australian-based sellers who use Silk Road”; that prosecution may have been “A 26-year-old man, who was charged with attempting to possess drugs from the site, was fined $1000” as of 2013-08-10.
An Australian investigation starting in January 2013 arrested two fake ID manufacturers on 2013-09-10; coverage does not mention SR, but a Redditor plausibly identifies them as having been the fake ID seller “Ausid” who stopped selling on SR in March 2013.
At some point in mid-2013 (“just months before it [SR1] was closed down”), the Australian man Luke Hanley was arrested after 2 packages of 25i & 25c (and possibly an amphetamine package) were intercepted by Customs, and pled guilty in 2014.
In August 2013, a 18yo South Bunbury, West Australian male Jackson R. was charged with heroin (actually DMT) & 2C-e possession; in an account on FB then reposted on Reddit, he explains that he had ordered the DMT off SR1 from a Czech seller (the media coverage claiming it was heroin being wrong) and his parents turned the package in to the police after it arrived, with the subsequent police search turning up his 2C-E as well.
In et al 2016 , reporting about a series of anonymous interviews conducted over TorChat 2011-2014 with SR1 users, they mention one Australian user claimed to have been arrested:
…Tapering down drug use after a honeymoon period was not only triggered by the practice of ‘portion control’ and/or satiated desires, but also by other life events. For example, P1 (21-25 yrs, USA) explained “After last semester I’m more interested in grades than highs” and P4 (21-25 yrs, Australia) described how “I’d rather buy a flight than a gram of coke”. In the case of P25 (21-25 yrs, Australia), who was buying large amounts from Silk Road and dealing from his home, a police raid resulted in supply charges, which led to a tapering of drug use and cryptomarket activity.
The age bracket and when they concluded interviewing suggests that this SR1 user was arrested before 2014, and there are only around two known arrests in that age bracket and period for SR1; combined with background knowledge that only a small fraction of buyer arrests are ever reported (see discussion of completeness of the arrest table), it is highly likely that this arrest is not otherwise in the table.
A Launceston, Tasmania man was sentenced to prison during 2014-03-23–2014-03-29 due to possession of 25i & BDMPEA partially (?) bought on SR; it’s unclear how or when he was caught.
The Victorian authorities report confiscating “several million dollars” (₿24,518) in Bitcoin in 2013 after a December 2012 search & arrest of Richard Pollard, who resold MDMA/cocaine/ketamine/fentanyl/etc (eventually sentenced to 6-7 years); through online accounts, it seems likely he was “1StopOz” who was noted as disappearing before January 2013 and given a journalist’s comment that “The court heard Pollard ran a ‘one-stop shop’”. (The coins were planned to be auctioned off by June 2016.)
In September 2015, Daniel Andrew Atkinson was sentenced to 8.5 years for MDMA sales on SR1, with no details on arrest date or cause. A commenter claims this was the seller “Meanwhile In Australia”/MIA and he did cash-in-mail transactions, which are notoriously dangerous. (The “Meanwhile in Australia…” SR1F thread (
silkroad1-forums-anonymous/2013-10-15/Market/Rumor%20mill/2012.10.21_0556am%20==%20Meanwhile%20in%20Australia...%20==%20thread_56466%20==%20by%20MeanwhileinAustralia.html) confirms he shipped internationally as well.)
2013-11-04, 2 men were arrested (media: 1; 2; 3) for selling opium, MDMA, & amphetamine, as well as, apparently, 6 of their customers - others may have been arrested outside Austria but no mention of those. Based on a forum thread & seller profile, I’ve identified this as the SR1 seller “Blackjack021”.
The aforementioned Tessellated claimed “we have not even once had a report of anyone having any legal trouble or ‘love letters’ from our product. On several occasions customs has opened our package, not found the product and sent it intact to the buyer.”
In May 2012, the high-volume cocaine Canadian seller “moveitnice”/“MiN” mentioned postal delays and then disappeared; according to buyers in the forum discussion, moveitnice accepted Western Union and the recipient of the WU payments matched the names in the arrests of a family of 4 Ottawans for mailing cocaine which was announced by the RCMP on 18 May. (My search of Canadian court records was unable to find their case; possibly their case has been publication-banned or discharged.) Gawker mentions rumors they may have been busted because they accepted payment via Western Union.
2012-08-02, British Columbia resident James Fowler was raided after an investigation started in May 2012 based on an anonymous tip that he was selling drugs online and subsequent “electronic surveillance”. The raid turned up marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, guns, and computer evidence of his online sales through “different websites, including his own”. La Moustache has identified Fowler as the SR1 seller “warweed” due to a BitcoinTalk.org account with a shared email address and other details (such as warweed’s announcement of being arrested in August 2012).
Also in August 2012, neighbors tipped off Calgary, Alberta police about drug sales in a house; the raid also turned up a garage for producing DMT, and Shawn Casey was arrested & charged 2012-08-22. He has been identified on Reddit (1, 2) & SR1F as the Calgary DMT seller “Trojan”.
4 people were arrested in Germany 2013-07-04, apparently by tracing another drug seller’s supplier with repeated orders which were sent from the same spot by the couriers (and were easily busted), and then to that SR seller-group “AfterHour” & possibly payments via mail (German coverage: 1, 2, 3, 4; partial translation). The leader cooperated and was sentenced to 4.83 years, with lesser sentences for the others.
Simultaneous with the AfterHour bust, the SR1 seller “Pfandleiher”/Sascha F. was also arrested by German police. The original investigation triggered by another seller’s wrongly-addressed package and then a general postal investigation led to AfterHour and Pfandleiher.
2016-01-11, 2 brothers (30/32yo) from Fürth were sentenced to 4 years prison stemming from an arrest in “early 2015” related to an inspection of a package; they had apparently been buying on SR1 and After2012-2014, making ~40 orders of marijuana/amphetamines/MDMA/cocaine for their consumption & local resale.
In early October 2015, a former SR1 marijuana buyer was, despite no package interceptions & always using PGP, prosecuted & fined for his 2013 SR1 purchases (and, oddly, 1 Outlaw Market order) from, among other sellers, the SR1 seller “Natural Weed”, a man named “Tobias Wald”, who apparently had been arrested at some point prior and turned over seller records which were then linked to order information on the SR1 server image provided by the FBI.
2013-07-23, an Indonesian man (likely the seller “joy”) was arrested in Jakarta for selling safrole oil (one of his Australian buyers had already been CDed and at least 4 shipments intercepted before then).
2013-08-05, 3 men (Ryan Thomas McManus, Ryan Milligan, Connor Devenney) who were the seller “sonicdrone”, were arrested in Ireland, and they were sentenced in April 2015; they had been selling a variety of drugs but principally cocaine, mephedrone, MDMA, marijuana, 2C-b, & LSD. How they were caught is unclear, but surveillance of a “virtual mailbox facility” they used to receive packages seem to have played a crucial role, possibly sparked by a failed attempt to mail 60g of marijuana to a Canadian customer. (Media coverage mentions another pseudonym, “blackwater86”, which is the name a mostly-unused SR1F account and not another seller as far as I can tell; possibly it was used in ordering from their American & Chinese supplier.)
On 2013-12-20 (indictment), the former SR administrator/moderator/employee “Libertas” (also of Silk Road 2) was arrested in Wicklow, Ireland but apparently made bail and continues to fight extradition with hearings initially scheduled for late July 2015. He pled guilty in the USA, and was sentenced to 6 years in July 2019.
DeepDotWeb reports (personal communication) that at the beginning of 2013, a small Israeli buyer of multiple drugs off SR1 (unknown seller) was arrested & sentenced to six months.
2015-08-10, DDW published “The Story of an Italian Unlucky Cyber Pusher”, which claims to be the memoir of a small Italian SR1 / BMR seller “Fuckthepolice137” who sold internationally 2012-2013 primarily marijuana & MDMA along with some sildenafil. He was arrested at the end of June 2013; Italian customs had intercepted packages to another bigger Italian drug trafficker, who was then arrested, and their emails with him were found, leading to his own raid & arrest.
Ayumu Teramoto was arrested for importing 50g of a “stimulant” in May 2014.
In April 2013, 6 Dutchmen were arrested for MDMA sales on SR; the arrests stemmed from a car search turning up thousands of pills in 2012-11-22 and then a raid of their manufacturing location 2013-04-05 (one commenter speculates they were the missing MDMA seller “MedicalM”).
2013-10-09, following a month of wiretapping & Blackberry observation, 2 Dutchmen (the seller “XTCExpress”) were arrested while making MDMA pills & charged (Daily Mail), ultimately receiving 4-5 years.
The MDMA seller “SuperTrips” (profile; DoJ announcement; complaint; charges) was arrested on traveling to the USA in August 2013 to meet a SR1 reseller, “UnderGroundSyndicate”/“BTCMaster” (who was arrested with SuperTrip’s help in October). US Customs intercepted >100 packages mailed by SuperTrips, built up a profile, found fingerprints on the packages, checked the Netherlands’s fingerprint databases & found a match, detained SuperTrips when he attempted to enter the USA, seized & searched his laptop’s files (illustrating the lack of civil rights at borders), he admitted selling during an interview, and eventually reached a plea agreement. His arrest was rumored on forums, and DPR2 of SR2 specifically alluded to SuperTrip’s arrest in late 2013/early 2014 that “it was quite boring the third time law enforcement decided to use the ‘SuperTrips’ moniker and claiming to be him as a free man, when I know just as well as ICE where he is now”, although the case was only publicly announced in April 2014.
An unnamed Australian student’s MDMA from SR1 (bought for local resale) was intercepted by Customs sometime in 2012 and he was, at a minimum, interviewed, but the 2012-07-11 article makes no mention of additional penalties. A New Zealand Customs officer who highly likely used SR1 (although he denies ordering, saying he had been researching it for his job) was charged with possessing & “supplying” methamphetamine but this “was uncovered during police inquiries into another crime”, with the resolution unclear.
Isaac Patiari Teaukura Maki’s MDMA from the Netherlands was confiscated by Customs on 2012-06-28 and his house visited, whereupon he admitted guilt to the officers and unsurprisingly was arrested & convicted.
A NZ article claimed 80 interceptions a month with 7 arrests January-July 2012 or 1 arrest a month (suggesting each interception has a risk of leading to an arrest of ~1/80; the risk per order then depends on how many of the 52m items were drug packages), specifically: ‘“There have been approximately 80 intercepts a month [from] people we believe have utilized the Silk Road enterprise,” Day said. In cases linked to Silk Road from January to July, 13 search warrants were issued, 15 further properties visited and 7 arrests made.’ Since both the Customs officer & Maki were arrested in that January-July 2012 period (Simon Lim falls outside it), that leaves 5 arrests unaccounted for.
What seems to be a third NZer, Simon Lim, was arrested sometime in 2012, pled guilty in October 2012 & was sentenced to 18 months probation in 2013-02-07 for buying cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD and others off Silk Road.
On 2013-04-23, a student Benjamen Patrick Belmont importing cocaine, MDMA, & LSD from Netherlands & UK for resale had packages intercepted by Customs, leading to a search, guilty pleas, and then sentencing in February 2014. (That article also estimates 52m items passing through Customs in 2012 with 1.4k intercepted as drugs.)
Two NZers were searched 2013-08-01 (Matthew Benjamin Collins & Jared Arthur Underwood), turning up a variety of drugs they had imported from the UK & Netherlands after September 2012 from “encrypted internet sites” (given the timing, SR1), apparently for local resale given the pill presses mentioned.
In September 2013, 3 NZers (Michael David John Kitto, Andrew James Furness, Gareth John Edlin) were convicted of importing MDMA & cocaine from Germany & the Netherlands, after a search warrant on 2013-07-03
And a fourth NZer’s (Andrew Trevor Harrison) 2 MDMA & NBOMe shipments from Netherlands & Canada were intercepted in September 2013 by Customs, leading to a search of his house & sentencing in April 2014.
2013-12-11, another 3 NZers were arrested over various orders of “small quantities of LSD, Methamphetamine, MDMA (ecstasy), Class C analogue powders and the psychoactive substance NBOMe” from unspecified DNMs “such as ‘The Silk Road’”. (Inasmuch as Silk Road was busted 2013-10-02, they may have actually been ordering from a replacement such as Sheep MarketPlace.)
In April 2014, the NZ man Peter James Grossett was convicted after 2 packages of methamphetamine from Canada were intercepted in 2013; the search had also turned up LSD and marijuana. (The article mentions he bought from another market after SR1 shut down, but not which one - it could have been Sheep or TorMarket or BMR given the broad time range.)
In December 2014, the SR1 MDMA/marijuana buyers Daniel Wayne Fowler & Lisa Marie Clark were sentenced after an investigating beginning with customs intercepts of German/Belgium packages in September 2013 (1 2).
A 2015 NZ Herald article reports some aggregate information from Customs:
Cocaine catches increased from five in 2011–12 to 54 in 2013–14, LSD from three to 85 in the same period, and Ecstasy 85 → 139. Mr Berry said the interceptions were generally smaller amounts, and did not indicate a similar increase in overall quantities being seized across all entry points to the country. About 2.4 million items of mail come into New Zealand every month.
2013-06-27, police reportedly stumbled on a suspicious man who dropped a package of pills and searched his trailer, discovering amphetamine, MDMA, & spice; this was the base of operations for the two men running the SR1 account “Speedsweden”, which had made 500 sales (police writeup/translation, media article). The second one seems to have gotten off, however.
2 Swedish men Jimmie Michael Juhlin & Mohammed Farid Aref Barham (the seller “SweExpress”), were arrested 2013-10-08 for selling marijuana, their packaging having apparently been profiled & their postal center surveilled (court sentencing document, Flashback discussion); two users on Reddit noted that SweExpress ceased mailing orders a week before the SR raid.
The 54yo Canadian man Roger Thomas Clark (“Plural of Mongoose”/“Variety Jones”/“VJ”/“cimon”) was arrested in Thailand on 2015-12-03 after a complaint was filed in 2015-04-21 for extradition to the USA; as the SR1 seller Variety Jones, he had sold marijuana seeds and other materials, and as cimon, from December 2011 - October 2013 he was deeply involved in helping Ross Ulbricht run SR1, assisting in source code audits, management of servers & employees, and giving Ulbricht much advice (eg. he suggested the “Dread Pirate Roberts” pseudonym to suggest the possibility of multiple DPRs, and pushed for Curtis Clark Green to be killed after Green was arrested & then his admin account used by Carl Mark Force IV to loot bitcoins from the SR1 servers). The sheer extent of cimon’s involvement in SR1 was documented during Ulbricht’s January 2015 trial with excerpts from Ulbricht’s journal, chat logs, and spreadsheets, leading to a great deal of surprise that cimon had apparently escaped unscathed, unlike many of the other SR1 employees, and especially considering that La Moustache identified cimon as Roger Thomas Clark shortly afterwards and even further, hacks of DPR’s abandoned email accounts (due to unredacted passwords in the evidence exhibits for the Ulbricht trial) pointed to Clark as cimon and another Thai expat as the SR1 developer “Smedley”. The complaint further reveals that Clark’s photographic ID, like other SR1 employees, was stored on Ulbricht’s laptop, and that Smedley was cooperating & had identified Clark.
The American man Mike Wattier (also a Thai expat associated with Clark) was identified as the SR1 programmer “Smedley” and began cooperating sometime between October 2013 and 2015-04-21.
Cambridge man Callum Fay was arrested 2012-06-28 after UKBA intercepted an Indian package of cocaine and a search warrant was executed after delivery; Fay possessed cocaine, MDMA, methamphetamine, many packaging materials such as 20 internationally-addressed packages, and to have sold a great deal (£29,000) of bitcoins previously. He was re-arrested 2015-03-24 for ketamine, heroin, and methamphetamine. Given the Bitcoin volume and addressed packages, Fay was clearly an unknown SR1 seller.
A Reddit user claims in June 2014 to have been importing MDMA into the UK from the Netherlands off SR1 for personal consumption & resale through friends for ~6 months; sometime before 2013 a package of 100 pills was detected by customs and he accepted delivery, leading to his house being searched; he was then convicted (in large part due to text messages on his phone & emails on his computer) and given a suspended sentence.
After the SR bust in October 2013, the Devon UK seller of accessories like marijuana seeds/MBB+ packaging/kratom (“PlutoPete”), reported he had been raided & questioned and likely charged with his personal drugs5; he was eventually charged in 2015 with “9 charges inc conspiracy and supply class A and B”. 3 more in Manchester were arrested & charged; the description of a three-man seller mailing from Manchester seems to match at least two SR sellers, “JesusOfRave” and “TechnoHippy” (or possibly a “Mangled1”?), the former of whom quickly denied being arrested, while the latter last appeared on the SR forums in mid-September 2013, he resurfaced on the SR2 forums likewise denying any involvement.
At Peter Ward / PlutoPete’s sentencing, it came out that the second person was Richard Hiley, who was arrested in December 2013; they had been in partnership to buy & sell marijuana/methamphetamine/cocaine and exchange Bitcoins/dollars. They were sentenced 2016-02-29 to ~5 years each.
26yo Derby man Adam Yates was raided after a February 2014 intercept at Heathrow Airport of 50 MDMA tablets, turning up phone/computer evidence of purchases & local resale of MDMA/cocaine/ketamine back to December 2011, and was sentenced to 2 years (suspended) in April 2016. The coverage identifies SR1 as his main DNM, but not which one he had ordered from in February 2014 (SR2?).
In September 2011, the Silk Road 1 buyer of LSD & MDMA Stacy Litz was arrested in Pennsylvania after reselling LSD to an undercover officer; she became an informant.
2013-10-28, the Maryland former seller “digitalink”, Jacob Theodore George IV, was charged in federal court (previously convicted of a number of offenses in state courts) for his heroin & methylone (banned October 2011) sales a year & a half previously (he stopped in January 2012), and pled guilty (plea agreement), ultimately receiving a sentence of 6 years. The complaint / indictment does not specify what evidence the case is based on, why such a long delay, or why no arrest, and many of the PACER documents remain sealed or unavailable as of 2015-02-23 (so we don’t know the details or how exactly he was cooperating); but based on digitalink’s forum posts and forum discussions of him, it seems he was an extremely careless seller who disdained PGP, retrieved product seized by the Post Office (one forum-user presciently exclaimed in August 2011, “Oh wow, the idiocy is unmatched! It seems very possible that digitalink will be busted sometime soon.”), told other people who his methylone supplier was, gave his phone number to buyers, and ultimately failed to deliver $3500 of methylone to a buyer “thoth” who then threatened to give digitalink’s information to the police, possibly resulting in him being interviewed and confessing to everything6. An internal timeline of the US investigations says that on 2012-02-01, “HSI Baltimore then revealed [in the meeting] that their informant that told them about the Silk Road in September was just arrested on or around January 17, 2012 for something unrelated and admitted to them then that he was actually a Silk Road vendor”, so it seems digitalink were arrested for offline misbehavior unrelated to his heroin/methylone imports & sales, and only then flipped.
Another filing mentions the alllove account’s use, but the internal timeline goes on to mention several other possible busts:
On October 12, 2011, HSI Baltimore reported in ROI 13 in general case number BA08NR11BA0004 that in September of 2011 an informant told them that the Silk Road existed and they sold drugs there. No further reports were filed or subsequent cases opened on the website. - …On December 8, 2011, HSI Headquarters prepared HSIR ID# ICE-HQINT-00431-12 titled “Digital Currency Bitcoin and the Underground Website Silk Road”. In that report they list 6 HSI investigations that had mentioned the Silk Road, including HSI Chicago and HSI Baltimore. HSI Chicago’s investigation was shown as actively working the website and multiple vendors. HSI Baltimore’s summary was that of only having one report from a CI mentioning the Silk Road existed. The other 4 HSI cases had only mentioned the website from interviews conducted. - On January 03, 2012, HSI Baltimore SA Gregory Miller opened investigation BA13CR12BA0016 and stated in ROI 001 that on December 29, 2011, their CI began telling them some details about the Silk Road website. - …By January 13, 2012, HSI Chicago had over 19 reports, 200 seizures, identified multiple vendors/targets, coordinated POE’s and case information with multiple HSI attaché offices, signed up a CI and had met with the AUSA’s office to prosecute the case. - …In April of 2012, HSI Chicago developed a new informant and informed HSI Baltimore of development. HSI Baltimore requested access directly to the informant but wouldn’t tell HSI Chicago why they wanted the access or what they wanted to ask the CI. HSI Chicago offered to take any questions and directly ask the CI the questions for them, but they would not allow access to the CI without knowing any topic of questions. HSI Baltimore expressed anger over not being allowed direct access to the CI.
The September 2011 informant seems to have not been a bust given the lack of any followup and to have simply been an informant (someone paid for money); the December report about “actively working…multiple vendors” may refer to investigating them and perhaps conducting undercover buys, not necessarily flipping them (in which case they might be referred to as CIs); the Baltimore claim of a CI dating from 2011-12-29 may seem to be “digitalink” but the date does not tally up with the other entry in which digitalink only offers to flip after his arrest almost a full month later and there are no known arrests near Baltimore in late 2011 (indeed, the only 2011 arrest so far is Stacy Litz from September 2011, which would be awkward as the CI - ~4 months to begin talking?), so I consider this evidence of an unknown bust in December 2011; the 2012-01-13 mention of a new CI in Chicago is also not consistent with any known busts and given the fierce rivalry between the Baltimore & Chicago offices (the focus of the timeline), this is likely another unknown bust; finally, the April 2012 mention of another new Chicago CI lines up almost perfectly with the known “dripsofacid” CI used by the Chicago office’s Der-Yeghiayan from his testimony. This leaves 2 unknown busts: the Baltimore CI in December 2011 and the Chicago CI in January 2012.
During the SR1 trial, the DHS agent Deryeghiayan engaged in purchases “from March 2012 until September 2013…Using an account obtained from an actual user, with the screen name of ‘dripsofacid’”, which was used for at least one buy in April 2013; “dripsofacid”’s account may have been obtained after an unknown arrest during that time period. (Another LE account was “Mr Wonderful”, who was used in the 2013 “Emailgate” in which he canvassed SR1 employees over Tormail and tried to flip them by offering money and immunity, to which DPR1 was alerted by his DEA informant Carl Force; Mr Wonderful is not a known seller account, and all mentions of Mr Wonderful such as Force’s dismissive comments seem to be imply his contact was done off SR1 and to be a fresh pseudonym, so it does not sound like a flipped buyer or seller to me and so is not included in the table. Similarly, an FBI presentation in mid-April 2015 in the Netherlands had a screenshot taken with the account “Aspire28”, but my searches do not turn up mentions of any seller of that name, so it was probably a throwaway or flipped buyer - impossible to know.)
2012-05-05, the Massachusetts Bard College student Mehran Jahedi’s rooms were searched & campus security found “LSD, ketamine, amphetamines, hallucinogenic mushrooms, MDMA, mescaline and marijuana, as well as packaging originating from as far away as China, Germany and Poland”, which he had been reselling locally after sourcing them from the “darknet”, and ultimately received a suspended sentence in 2014; given the variety, it is almost certain he was purchasing from SR1 rather than any of the other SR1-era markets (BMR/Darkbay/Sheep/Atlantis).
The account of the SR1 clonazepam/marijuana seller “alllove” was used by the FBI in 2012-09-27 & earlier as part of its investigation into SR1, and screenshots taken with it were entered into evidence at Ross 2015 trial. alllove must have been busted somehow before September 2012, for his account to have become the FBI’s property, and explaining his abrupt disappearance sometime before 2012-05-19 (remarked upon at the time on Reddit; there may be more accurate timings in SR1F hits for “alllove”) but all other details are unknown. One post-trial exhibit (a Der-Yeghiayan affidavit seeking copies of Mark Karpeles’s email accounts) states that “In September of 2012, HSI was able to verify that a commission rate exists on the Silk Road by using a Silk Road vendor account and setting a price on a product for sale on the Silk Road marketplace. HSI then logged in to the Silk Road using a different account and observed the same product offered for sale at a higher price than what was set by the vendor. The difference in price matched the advertised commission rates from the Silk Road administrator.”; while this could possibly have been an unknown seller, digitalink, davidd, or alllove (all USA SR1 seller accounts compromised by September 2012), the former had disappeared off the market by September 2012, and the last fits best given that we know the alllove account was being used for other parts of the investigation. (The old SR1 seller Grand Wizard says that alllove may also have sold bitcoins for cash in the mail or other fiat; this is an extremely risky occupation and if true, almost certainly how he was busted.)
In December 2012, a New Jersey buyer was busted for marijuana in a controlled delivery when the package was detected in the mail; he cooperated (no additional penalties specified in article) and 2 sellers (SourDieselMan) were eventually arrested & charged in July 2013.
SR forum posters have claimed that a DMT seller, cocaine seller, & 2 others have all been busted but apparently for their offline connections and activities (the poster claims the DMT seller had too many people visiting and his neighbors squealed; this was likely the Canadian seller “Trojan”, but the other 3 I’m not sure about).
In “early 2013” (personal communication), an American ordered MDMA from a European seller; IRL activities led to his arrest (he had been reselling locally and one of his buyers was themselves caught & snitched) although the SR1 connection was not uncovered, and eventually he pled to a lesser charge.
In January 2013, according to the SR bust indictments, a seller & SR employee (“chronic pain”/“chronicpain”/“Flush”) was arrested & charged in Maryland after receiving a kilo of cocaine from an undercover agent; he then cooperated with the FBI in entrapping Ulbricht into ordering a hit on him and then pretending to be dead. He was identified in October as Curtis Clark Green (discussion). Green’s plea-agreement (transcript) was released on 2013-11-07, without any details of his cooperation after his arrest in Utah (although “the U.S. attorney’s office said his computer was forensically examined after it was seized”); interestingly, the plea-agreement notes that the undercover agent did not know the cocaine package was being delivered to the same SR administrator who had helped him find a seller for his cocaine. Curtis Green’s cooperation earned him 2 days imprisonment & 4 years probation.
Also in January 2013, the criminal complaint documenting the DEA corruption during the SR1 investigation mentions offhandedly that the dirty copes Force & Bridge controlled the account “TrustusJones” as of 2013-01-237; TrustusJones was an East Coast marijuana SR1 seller beginning around February 2012 (forum archive). Curiously, in February 2013, the account announced on the SR1 forums (thread #118718) that he would be selling off all his bitcoins (at ~30% off) in exchange for MoneyPak; this might sound like Force laundering coins from the January 2013 theft, except the use of TrustusJones is noted in internal DEA documents, suggesting that the sales were more about busting any SR1 users unwise enough to buy MoneyPak. (The original TrustusJones had even mocked MoneyPak in an earlier thread, #16083.) It’s unclear when exactly TJ was busted or how; my best guess, based on his SR1F posts, is that he was busted on or before 2012-04-29, and his OPSEC sounded good, it was probably due to the usual mail-tracing approach.
In February 2013, there were two cases of Americans being busted in Florida and Louisiana by signing for MDMA in what is called a “controlled delivery”; the simultaneity, drug type, & amount immediately led to speculation that they were both ordering from the SR MDMA Canadian seller “luckylucianno” who was previously having issues with order interceptions, which was confirmed when one of the arrested men posted on the SR forums warning away others and relevant threads were deleted by forum moderators (although a moderator claimed the Louisiana bust was unrelated to SR or the Florida bust).
Sometime in March 2013, an Alaskan buyer of heroin & cocaine apparently received a controlled delivery, and received felony charges; he cooperated in the ongoing investigation of his seller, “NOD”, according to the indictment for NOD.
An otherwise-unknown female buyer from NOD seems to have been similarly arrested in April/May according to the TSG article on NOD.
2013-03-21, the large Californian marijuana group seller “SourDieselMan” replaced their profile page with the message “i am down forever” (last forum comment was 2013-03-18); SR users noted that on 19 March, a series of marijuana-related raids were executed in California near where SourDieselMan apparently shipped from, and speculate that SourDieselMan may have been arrested in them (though two users say SourDieselMan was either banned by SR over selling Bitcoins for cash in the mail or traced via this, an activity attested to in the review thread). Additional July news coverage revealed SourDieselMan to be a group, 2 members of which (Matthew Gillum & Jolene Chan) were arrested & charged with marijuana & finance-related charges. The complaint says the investigation started in August 2012 due to the large sums of cash in mail, did a controlled delivery to a SR marijuana buyer in New Jersey in December 2012 (he cooperated), flipped one of the SourDieselMan members, and went from there; for additional details, see the PACER court records and the filings for Gillum & Chan. Gillum was sentenced to 9 years.
2013-04-12, a South Carolinian man (the seller “Casey Jones”, judging by forum search hits8 and his posts) had ₿11 (then $935) confiscated via a drug law provision (Hughes blames it on the “actions of one of his house guests” and an additional Bitcoin seizure casts a little doubt on the charges); he was arrested in June 2013 and triply charged in Charleston with distribution/possession of marijuana/clonazepam/DMT/methylone but he did not seem to be selling marijuana on SR and the available court records do not indicate whether he is being charged due to offline or online drug dealing, but the mention of “two undercover drug buys…in April” imply he was selling off-SR and may have been caught that way.
2013-04-26, 2 Iowan men, Adam Lawin & Benjamin Walker, were raided for importing MDMA from the UK & Belgium (press release; sentencing). Customs interceptions of their packages beginning in 2012 were followed by a local undercover buy, which triggered the raid.
During May 2013, a teen in Indiana was arrested after his mother informed on him. I also know of another case involving an American who was convicted after a controlled delivery of LSD mailed from the Netherlands; his package was likely detected.
A complaint filed 2013-06-13 against a David Lawrence Handel charges him with distributing methylone, 2C-E, and 2C-C; no full complaint is available and it is apparently sealed. Handel is known to be SR-related because the edgarnumbers complaint says so.9 La Moustache suggests that Handel was the research-chemical seller daviddd, based on davidd’s sales volume, public silence since the right time, a rumor that he had been arrested, the coincidence that davidd listed 1kg of methylone for sale just like the LE-controlled Digitalink & edgarnumbers seller profiles had, and a suspicious attempt by the davidd attempt to send a ‘free sample’ to a SR1 moderator. This identification as the SR1 seller davidd was eventually confirmed when Handel pled guilty in 2015 (plea agreement; sentencing order). He had been the target of several undercover buys by the Maryland Marco Polo task force which led to his profiling & identification; he was arrested after picking up a package from post office, was carrying a gun, apartment was searched, and wound up handing over his SR1 seller account.
2013-06-28, the seller Sheldon Kennedy (“edgarnumbers”; profile) was raided in Nebraska (he had sold methylone among others on SR, and guns on the short-lived Armory); he cooperated (turning over his customers’ addresses), was eventually officially arrested 2014-02-19, and his case was unsealed the next day (complaint), finally being sentenced to a reduced two years. He had been busted after “digitalink”10 turned over all his customers’ addresses in November 2011, which included edgarnumbers’s address; he was then targeted for undercover buys and confirmation that he was a drug & gun dealer through his lack of visible income, Gmail & Amazon accounts, Facebook & Google+ profiles, interviews at his local post office & debit card records of many postal purchases, and a return address.1112 (Kennedy turns out to be the SR1 seller mentioned in an article on the Internet sex-cam site Chaturbate.)
In July 2013 according to DHS agent DerYeghiayan’s testimony, the Texas seller and then SR1 employee “CaptainMal” / “scout” / “cirrus”’s account was taken over by law enforcement and the account used to infiltrate SR1 and later SR2; she was likely arrested at some point before that in June or July 2013 on some charge (possibly relating to her activity as a seller selling bitcoins, although an LE agent may have implied she got in trouble for something unrelated to SR1 and offered to flip); a later account by D-Y states that Scout was caught when she made the mistake of accepting a free toy from Dutch SR1 seller “Nomad Bloodbath”, who had been tracked through mail & flipped earlier. Cirrus has been suspected long before as there were only a few suspects for the UC who was reported in October 2013 as chatting with Ulbricht as he was arrested, but the hard confirmation came when the evidence list was leaked 2014-12-19.
2013-07-11, two young Algoma, Wisconsin men, J.J. Savoie & S.J. Paape importing MDMA from Germany (mugshot) - possibly from Afterhour? - saw their package detected by Customs and received a controlled delivery.
Also on 2013-07-24, the Wisconsin SR1 buyer Ryan M Petersen was searched over an intercepted package of MDMA from Belgium, after his friend he was using as a drop had been searched after an earlier 2013-04-26 CD (he then cooperated). He eventually reached a plea bargain (court records #2014CF000288)
A New York man Nicholas C Moffitt was prosecuted in August 2013 after selling Suboxone in person, having his mail monitored, and then his store (with drugs on the premises) raided; he pled guilty
Also in August 2013, the large Dutch MDMA seller SuperTrips was arrested (forfeiture; press release; plea agreement); profiling of his packages and fingerprints provided enough grounds that when he tried to visit the USA, he was detained at the airport, his unencrypted laptop examined and all his records found (including all buyer addresses), whereupon he confessed & began cooperating (helping bust his collaborator UnderGroundSyndicate in October 2013). (His account would be used by a DHS undercover agent until SR1 was raided 2 months later.) He was sentenced to 10 years prison.
Also in September 2013, a Vermont student Sid Hammer was charged with drug possession; he had purchased them off SR for local resale, and was reported to police through complaints of “smells of burnt marijuana”.
In October 2013, the founder of SR, Ross Ulbricht, was arrested in San Francisco and charged with a laundry list of crimes; he was ultimately convicted and sentenced to life without parole. Logs from his laptop implicated a college friend, Richard Bates (“baronsyntax”) in helping program SR1 and buying some drugs; this was used as leverage to force Bates to testify against Ulbricht in his trial. Reportedly there were, besides NOD, Ulbricht, 4 UKers and 2 Swedes, “at least half a dozen other arrests currently in the works” (a promise fulfilled subsequently).
Simultaneous with the SR bust, a Washington state man & his girlfriend, the seller “NOD”, was charged with heroin selling (complaint, docket, interview) with some leniency since they cooperated after their July bust & was sentenced to (a perhaps surprisingly low) 5 years. A pseudonymous Redditor claims to have been a customer of NOD, among other sellers, and to have been searched, arrested & charged on 2013-10-08, with (apparently) another pseudonymous Redditor reporting state charges & posting his indictment. (Interestingly, NOD may have done an interview for the Drugs Inc. TV series somewhere around March 2013.)
The Florida seller “UnderGroundSyndicate”/“BTCMaster” Angel William Quinones (profile, plea agreement) was arrested near-simultaneously with DPR thanks to the cooperation of his partner/supplier, the Dutch seller SuperTrips, who had been arrested when he earlier tried to fly into the USA in August 2013 with an unencrypted laptop after having been identified through latent fingerprints on packaging.
The NY seller of clonazepam/hydrocodone/heroin “deezletime” (profile), Michael Duch, was arrested on 2013-10-01 as well, ultimately reaching a plea deal on 2014-12-10, in time to testify in the Ulbricht trial. In exchange for his testimony, he was sentenced to 2.5 years in July 2015 (most already served).
2013-11-21, the seller “MDpro” was arrested in Delaware (seller profile, forum discussions, forum posts, BMR posts under her real name) and charged in federal court (PACER web data, complaint / filings), ultimately sentenced to 2.5 years; based on the complaint, it seems her fatal mistake was either using tracking on her shipments through an account registered in her real name or putting valid return addresses on her shipments to a PO box registered to her real name, which allowed the undercover buyer to find her and compile the extensive case against her. Among her many security mistakes included accepting shipments from other sellers to her apartment addressed to her partner (and partner in crime).
2013-12-17, 4 members of the methamphetamine group seller “hammertime” were arrested in Oregon as well as 3 others charged (PACER, indictment; more coverage; trial; plea agreement; sentencing for two). The leader, Jason Weld Hagen, was ultimately sentenced to 3 years; the cited reason for such a light sentence was concerns over the Force/Bridges SR1 corruption scandal.
2014-01-26, the Bitcoin seller “BTCKing” (SR1/2) & an accomplice at BitInstant were arrested in Florida & NY (respectively) after an IRS investigation (indictment); BTCKing offered a service in which he sent buyers a bank account number to deposit cash to (which he then converted into bitcoins via BitInstant), then transferred bitcoins to the buyer on Silk Road. He was arrested after an undercover agent (starting in August 2012) made purchases, received the bank account information, and obtained his bank records; the case was further cemented by using the SR messages from the FBI’s copy of the servers (apparently BTCKing did not believe in using PGP), the home IP embedded in BTCKing’s emails with BitInstant (BTCKing used Safe-mail.net but apparently did not connect over Tor), and his accomplice’s Gmail emails & chats obtained. (Ironically, BTCKing had declined Dread Pirate Robert’s July 2013 invitation to join him in creating an “Anonymous Bitcoin Exchange” by pointing out his vulnerability to investigation: “All LE has to do is go to the bank and ask who is the Trustee of RMF Trust and BANG… They will seize the funds and me.”) He pled guilty and was sentenced to 4 years
In late May 2014, the SR1 oxycodone/hydrocodone seller “CALIGIRL” (profile), Matthew Jones, was arrested in Dallas, Texas (press release, criminal complaint & excerpts, PACER), pled guilty, and was sentenced to 5 years & ten months. An undercover agent had made 2 purchases through SR1 and 6 over Bitmessage after the SR1 bust; CALIGIRL did not vary packaging methods or drop off location, allowing his packages to be profiled, traced back to a sorting facility, where the agent discovered they were all dropped off at a single postal box. In addition, on the last purchase, the agent social-engineered CALIGIRL into accepting part of the payment to his personal bank account. This all fed into a comprehensive investigation of CALIGIRL’s life which drew on information from (but likely not exclusive to): Facebook; Amazon shopping logs and IP;
#bitcoin-otc IP & transactions; Local Bitcoin transactions; domain names and telephone; cellphone apps (Ding) usage & callers & IPs; Post Office photos (from automated postal machine); the landlord for his post box; travel records; electronic toll records recording movements of his car; hotels he stayed at (he used places he stayed or was near as return addresses); and financial records from: Xoom (and IP addresses), Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, Western Union, & MoneyGram. There are currently no known controlled deliveries or arrests of CALIGIRL customers (possibly the SR1 bust eliminated most of his business).
2014-11-05, Marylanders Tom & Amanda Callahan (SR1 Bitcoin seller/exchanger “JumboMonkeyBiscuit”) were raided by the Baltimore task force (see exhibit B of Bridges, and “United States v. 50.44 Bitcoins”) for money laundering. The SR1 server image had been used to identify a PO box that JumboMonkeyBiscuit used for their Bitcoin-for-mailed-cash sales, registered in their name, which in conjunction with an October 2014 intercept by USPS of $10000 cash (they apparently had moved on to other DNMs but it is unspecified which). Their case came to light as part of the investigation of dirty cop Shaun Bridges, who stole some of the seized bitcoins.
2015-05-28, charges were announced against 30yo Louisiana man Beau Wattigney for being the SR1/2 “PurpleLotus” seller of counterfeit coupons (complaint; press release; media); he pled guilty and was sentenced January 2016 to 3.4 years prison. PurpleLotus had retired well before May 2015; the complaint says only that he was caught in part based on “forensic analysis of images of servers seized during the dismantlement of Silk Road 1.0, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (‘FBI’) was able to recover, among other things, transaction histories and private message communications associated with Silk Road 1.0 users.” and also quotes a (unencrypted) PM from PurpleLotus to a buyer explaining how to use counterfeit coupons. A Redditor claiming to be SR1 seller RXMan says that he remembers trading prescription pills for coupons and that PurpleLotus provided, via unencrypted PMs, the name Beau Wattigney & a mailing address.
2014-09-26, the 21yo South Australia man Ryan James Norman was arrested while picking up a package from the post office after Customs intercepted a shipment of ~5000 doses of 25i-NBOMe from Canada; he was sentenced in September 2015 to 3.5 years. It later emerged that he was a seller on SR2; I have identified Norman as the SR2 seller “MagicAU” based on similar products and MagicAU vanishing from SR2 during 2014-09-26–2014-09-28, immediately after Norman was raided, and MagicAU’s relatively young vendor age which matches the description of Norman as having sold for ~2 months before being arrested.
During April 2015, a 40yo German man in Würzburg was arrested for purchases of MDMA, cocaine, amphetamines, cannabis & “synthetic” drugs totaling kilograms off of SR2 (he does not seem to have been a SR2 seller, indicating he was a local reseller) and earlier markets starting in 2012. The investigation appears to have relied FBI forensic analysis of the seized SR2 server’s PMs (he, like many, apparently had not been using PGP in communicating with his sellers) and also German customs intercepts of several orders.
In late January 2014, a Canadian man T.S. & Indonesian woman L.A. were arrested after a package of MDMA (100 Superman pills) from the Netherlands (which she had ordered from “pillbay” on Silk Road 2) was intercepted by customs & his West Jakarta residence searched; they were sentenced to 10 & 5 years respectively.
2014-11-05, as part of Operation Onymous, 2 men (Neil Mannion & Richard O’Connor) were arrested in Dublin, Ireland, uncovering drugs (MDMA/LSD/marijuana)/Bitcoins/address-lists; the Irish investigation began after information was received from a foreign agency. They were probably the seller “TheHulkster”, based on volume, location, & drugs. (Media coverage: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.)
December 2014 saw the SR2 buyer Andrew Graham Hodgson sentenced for importing methamphetamine, marijuana & NBOMe; his mail had been intercepted from July to September 2014 (1, 2) and he was arrested that September.
Daniel Patrick McKechnie, Taine Mita Piriru Edwards, & Mitchell Charles Connor-Dagg (aged 18-20) were arrested & charged in February 2015 after customs interceptions with importing, from November 2014-January 2015, LSD/MDMA/methamphetamine which “had all been sourced through the internet from the United States and Europe in a sophisticated operation” for local resale. They had been ordering “via the Silk Road site”, presumably SR2, although what market they were using (after SR2 closed) from late November 2014 - January 2015 is unspecified. (Possibly linked to the Evolution seller “TheWireNz”’s apparently-permanent vacation?)
During the 2014-11-05 busted of SR2, the authorities announced 6 UK arrests, but no details have emerged since besides the basic description given to the press (were any of them Budworx or Top_Gear_UK?):
The NCA described the six British arrests as “significant”, adding that a large amount of computer equipment has been seized at all the addresses searched and will now be forensically examined. The six—a 20-year-old man from Liverpool, a 19-year-old man from New Waltham in Lincolnshire, a 30-year-old man from Cleethorpes [Lincolnshire], a 29-year-old man from Aberdovey in Wales and a man and woman, both 58, also from Aberdovey, have all been bailed after being interviewed.
The “19-year-old man from New Waltham” turns out to be Alex Middleton (“MaximusDecimus” on SR2), who sold methoxetamine/MXE & Xanax & 4-MEC internationally; he pled guilty in June 2015 and was sentenced to 2 years 4 months in September 2015.
In February 2015, charges were announced for 5 people:
A 29-year-old man from the UK was also charged today, a National Crime Agency spokesperson told me. His 11 charges include the possession of four stun guns which were disguised as other weapons; conspiring with Peter Ward to supply a quantity of cannabis; and another charge of the importation of cocaine. Another three people were charged with drug offenses. They are 29-year-old Cei William Owens, charged with supplying Class A and B drugs; and 59-year-old Robin Clinton Bradshaw and 58-year-old Elynedd Ann Owens, each charged with possession of Class A and B drugs. They are all residents of the Aberdovey area of Wales.
One of the 5 was PlutoPete, whose case was already known; the second person is some sort of connection to PlutoPete and is a new case; and the last 3 were noted to line up with the mentioned ages & locations of 3 of the original 6, apparently indicating that one was a seller and the other two were a buyer. Cei Owens (“Johnny Alpha”) pled guilty & was sentenced to two years for sales/possession of “cannabis resin, herbal cannabis, MDMA and psilocybin”. Of the original 6, this seems to leave 3 unaccounted: the 20-yo-Liverpool, and the 30-yo-Cleethorpes.
The 20-yo-Liverpool was revealed in April 2019 to have been none other than StExo/Dread Pirate Roberts 2 (DPR2) himself, having been eventually caught up by the SR2 bust & cracking of his encrypted files, although the exact details of his OPSEC failures remain unclear:
The NCA investigators linked White first to the StExo identity in part by following financial and bitcoin transactions in the early days of the account’s creation. “We effectively got him from his day one, week one, of activity on Silk Road,” Chowles said. Chowles explained that included tracing a loan from payday loan company Wonga in White’s name, which was then sent to cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox, which then transferred bitcoin funds to the StExo account on Silk Road and paid for some items on the site. Other evidence included receipts for items seized from other Silk Road vendors addressed to White, and White being in possession of bitcoin wallets associated with DPR2. John Williams from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) told Motherboard in a statement that White “received an income that allowed lavish spending with no credible explanation.”
The case has not been straightforward, however. Chowles said the NCA had challenges with White’s use of encryption. The agency was eventually successful, in part because of gaining access to a password manager which contained the unlock phrase for one of White’s encrypted laptops. The whole process has also taken years. According to a source familiar with the case, the investigation data didn’t arrive in the UK until June 2016, and the FBI didn’t provide full copies until December 2018. Motherboard granted the source anonymity to speak more openly about a criminal case.
21yo Leeds man Luke Fairless was arrested 2014-10-10 after a search of his house was triggered by a MDMA order being delivered to the wrong address and the occupant complaining; the search turned up MDMA, LSD, diazepam, DMT, & mescaline, and he was sentenced in 2016 for importing.
In early May 2014, the SR2 seller “Xanax King” (Jeremy Donagal) & his associates were arrested (DEA press release); he ran a very large operation with multiple employees, purchased ingredients using Western Union & wire transfers to China, “sold drugs locally, distributing Xanax tablets, GHB, and steroids”, some sort of clearnet website (
xkloves.us, content removed in lieu of a now-defunct Tor hidden service), and had at least one “confidential informant” in his organization (see the anti-bail letter), who was handling their SR2 orders at the end according to a media report (some buyers reported being asked to resend their PGP-encrypted addresses).
The fall out from XK’s bust has been substantial: the anti-bail letter claims “In addition to the nine defendants in this case, evidence gathered from Defendant’s enterprise led to the arrest of nearly 60 other people throughout the country”. Several of his customers received controlled deliveries and have been arrested as well. 2 controlled deliveries on 28 May picked up 4 men in Bloomington, Indiana (Carlos Matthew Allen, David Christian Feigel, Paul Furto, & Andrew C. Dickey). Kory D. Kreider in New Orleans, Louisiana whose pickup of a package was surveilled managed to evade arrest on 29 May but was arrested a few days later using cellphone records & Facebook data. Some other CDs in late May/early June 2014 are highly likely to be XK-related. In Naperville, Illinois, Brian Patrick Noone was arrested on 2014-05-30 after a search warrant yielded 600 Xanax pills, apparently based on “a tip from a federal task force about drug trafficking in Naperville”. In Nashville, Tennessee, 3 people (Demarcus Blue, Markuite Matthews, & Adrevious Rayner) were arrested after a CD on 2014-05-29 of 5000 gel cap Xanax pills sent by a “An alleged drug ring” shipping from California and the mailer “was taken into custody at the end of last week”.
2014-11-05, as the final piece of Operation Onymous, the operator of Silk Road 2, Blake Benthall / “Defcon” was arrested in San Francisco (press release; complaint). It is highly likely that the undercover agent Cirrus had enabled the locating of the SR2 server, which Benthall apparently had rented under his own name (possibly at his employer Close’s hosting), after which his Bitcoin spending (on a Tesla) was noted and surveillance correlated Defcon’s activities with Benthall’s; after being arrested, he “did admit to everything”.
2014-11-06, David & Teri Schell were arrested in California for selling marijuana and marijuana wax (complaint, PACER); additional coverage indicated they were investigated after “discovering an Internet Protocol address was accessing the Silk Road 2.0 site” and then PO box surveillance nailed them. The DoctorClu case reveals that the seller portal for SR2 had been used to de-anonymize a few IPs (but not many), implying that an undercover agent (presumably Cirrus) had inserted a de-anonymization exploit similar to the previous Freedom Hosting exploit. They were probably the SR1 & SR2 seller “CaliforniaCanibas” (profile).
In “last fall” (Fall 2014), US Air Force cadet Nathaniel Penalosa’s dorm room was searched and a military investigation into his sale of drugs to fellow students at the USAF academy, including LSD, molly / methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, and modafinil. He had ordered them via mail from Silk Road 2 His court-martial began around August 2015, leading to the expulsion of 3 other cadets, and he accepted a plea-bargain for 3 years.
The Washington man Brian Farrell & SR2 staffer “DoctorClu” was arrested 2015-01-20; his IP had been uncovered in July 2014 accessing the SR2 seller portal13, like CaliforniaCanibas, by CMU researchers and the information turned over to the FBI. The local police investigated by post-office checks and then interviewing him & his roommate on 2014-12-22; the roommate spoke freely about Farrell’s drug use and online connections and the next day even provided some of Farrell’s drugs to the police, allowing a search warrant to search the house and uncover Farrell’s prescription drugs on 2015-01-02, at which point he confessed everything & to helping run SR2 as the employee DoctorClu and was then arrested (the charges being upgraded from local pill charges to federal conspiracy charges; complaint). He was sentenced to 8 years in June 2016.
Michigan psychedelics buyer Michael Carlton Paiva was arrested in 2016 due to being identified in Operation Onymous as a SR2 buyer for MDMA/25i-NBOMe/DOM/DMT/LSD/Al-LAD/mescaline/“liquid mushrooms” and was sentenced to 30 months on 2017-03-09. Given the involvement of SR2, being a buyer, and the long delay, he may represent another arrest due to unencrypted PMs.
2015-11-02, 26yo Scottish man David Trail was arrested as part of Operation Onymous and pled guilty in mid-2016 (1, 2). He may represent one of the missing UK arrests. According to the newspaper to coverage, “The initial investigation in to Trail began in August 2014 when the FBI handed over a range of IP addresses linked to a whole range of dark web sites”, and “His biggest slip-up was that, financially, he didn’t know how to cover his tracks.” Someone claiming to be Trail on Reddit says:
The FBI cracked Tor and traced the German server back to me. There was encryption in place but they caught me with it all unlocked unfortunately. When you’re not expecting a police raid by the FBI (was a very small scale website, 10s of users) you don’t set up plausible denialability based encryption and automatic shutdown on your door being busted down.
A Canberra, ACT teen was given a suspended 4-year sentence in November 2015 over his local resale of marijuana, MDMA, cocaine, & LSD bought off an unspecified DNM using Bitcoin; his first package was detected by Customs in September 2014, as were 6 packages after that, leading to a raid in May 2015.
In February 2015, two Belgian men from Genk & Maaseik were arrested for sales internationally of methamphetamine/amphetamines/MDMA, possibly due to the fake stamps they were using to save money (similar to the earlier German RedBull case). The first was sentenced to 2 years prison, the second to 0.5 years probation.
In October 2016, a 25yo Belgium man and three accomplices were arrested (DeepDotWeb article) for selling amphetamines under the online vendor name Evilution. The vendor used a local computer shop as a return address and six packages got returned to that address because of insufficient postage. Since the shop owner reported the returned packages to law enforcement, an investigation started. Fingerprints found on the examined packages belonged to Stijn Victor, who has been arrested previously for drug crimes. He mainly sold synthetic drugs and amphetamines, amounting to a total of 1878 transactions. During the arrest, law enforcement also seized 4000 bitcoins. Victor’s lawyer claims that parts of it came from legal programming jobs that his client did years ago as well as additional Bitcoin trading not linked to his vending activities.
In November 2015, it was announced that 9 men 19-24yo from Forcheim, Bamberg and Herzogenaurach had cumulatively been arrested who had made ~70 purchases of marijuana, MDMA, LSD, amphetamine from the DNMs for local resale; the case probably began when the first was arrested and flipped.
In July 2016, 3 German men were charged with converting/modifying/selling guns “on Darknet sites”, selling pistols & rifles. These conversions may be connected to the 2016 Munich shooting by 18yo Ali Sonboly, the Glock handgun for which is reportedly a ‘reactivated theater weapon’ (for which the firing pin had been removed or receiver cut?) which Bitmessage chatlogs indicate had been purchased over the ‘darknet’ in some fashion; however, chatlogs are not usually employed in purchasing off a DNM like AlphaBay, and later coverage indicates a different 31yo man had met Sonboly in person for the gun & ammo sales.
A 41yo Berlin man was sentenced to 4 years in September 2016 for selling handguns & ammunition; a misdelivered package was intercepted, apparently prompting some undercover purchases backtraced to him, followed up by bugging/surveillance. It’s unspecified if he was one of the 3 charged in July 2016 or if he operated on a DNM.
2 men were arrested as part of a Bitcoin carding ring in July 2016.
An Israeli man Weitzman was arrested ~2015-01-04 after a “darknet” package containing cocaine was detected by a sniffer dog at Customs.
An Israeli teen was arrested ~2015-01-12 (translation) after a package of marijuana was intercepted by Customs at Ben Gurion Airport; the media coverage specifies he had bought that package & 13 others off the DNMs, but not which one or the seller.
2015-02-06, a man was arrested in Kerkrade for selling drugs on “the so-called dark Web”, and the search seized drugs & bitcoins.
2015-03-03, 2 men & 1 woman were arrested and searched, uncovering a marijuana grow operation; they been selling bitcoins for a total of €440,000 (a sum too large to be explained as anything other than DNM sales).
A NZer was arrested in April 2013 over multiple very large orders from an online site, which may or may not have been SR1.
An 2013-12-11 NZ police press release reported the arrest of 3 Wellington men for “small quantities of LSD, Methamphetamine, MDMA (ecstasy), Class C analogue powders and the psychoactive substance NBOMe” which had been “ordered from on line suppliers such as ‘The Silk Road’”; no further details are available.
A 2014-06-21 Dominion Post article says that “A series of drug raids in a police operation spanning Porirua, Tawa, the Kapiti Coast and Hutt Valley and central Wellington resulted in 21 arrests over the past week [2014-06-15–2014-06-20]. Six of those arrested now face serious charges related to the alleged importation of drugs bought online from websites similar to Silk Road.” (This is a revised figure from the earlier article on “Operation Python” which had mentioned that “Six Kapiti houses were raided and five arrests made as part of a large police sting targeting internet drug importers.”) I currently do not know the specifics of those 6 arrests or have any NZ cases in that date range.
2014-08-11, the 22yo polytechnic college student Nicholas Peter Heatley was arrested for importing LSD / MDMA / Ritalin / marijuana for resale locally after customs interceptions January - August 2014, sourced “from Germany and the United Kingdom via the internet” (clarified in later coverage to have been the “Dark Web” and so presumably one of the markets). (He was sentenced in December 2014 to 4.5 years prison.)
In 2014, Customs intercepted more than 1300 class A and B drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act; a rise of more than 25% from 2013. While no drugs were intercepted in Dunedin in 2013, last year cocaine, MDMA, LSD and methamphetamine were all intercepted in the city. By the end of April this year Customs had carried out more than 400 interceptions nationally, and found ephedrine (which can be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine) and methamphetamine in Dunedin…“We know with one job they brought in $50,000 dollars worth - that’s one import.”
2 23yo NZ Dunedin university students were raided on 2015-11-16 after customs intercepts, uncovering cocaine, MDMA, LSD, & “prescription drugs” which they resold locally; likely DNM related because one police officer quoted warns “students using the Internet to import drugs”.
A Redditor reports being busted 2015-01-29 in Norway after a package of LSD from the Netherlands which he bought from LucyandMolly (who sells on Agora/Evolution/Nucleus) was intercepted by customs; he received just a knock-and-talk14 but confessed his guilt.
2015-06-09, the arrest in the “previous days” of 4 men aged 29-31 from “Oslo and Skien” was announced by Norwegian police (media: 1, 2, 3, 4). They apparently had been selling marijuana and unspecified other products on the Dark Web for bitcoins, apparently internationally as well as in Norway; which markets, which sellers, and details on how they were caught were not provided. 2017 coverage of 3 men arrested in Oslo in June 2015 says they sold marijuana on SR1 and other sites, and depended on foreign police assistance (based on seller records/PMs from the SR1 server image?).
In March 2016, former banker & 28yo man Aditya Rajiv was convicted of selling two men’s financial information on the dark web to a “covert internet investigator” who informed police (1); he had also been accused (previously?) of using Paypal to defraud 4 customers in mid-2013 (1).
Swedish police (pg19) claimed in February 2015: “Swedish police work actively at identifying vendors. A large chunk of the Swedes who sell drugs on DNMs have been caught, and nearly half of the known nicknames believed to be Swedish have been caught, either by local drug police or by cyberpolice.”. It’s unclear what they consider “known nicknames” and no specific numbers are mentioned, but it could indicate that more Swedish sellers have been arrested than are publicly known.
A 2015-05-22 police article is more specific: “Swedish police has identified 12 of the 20 biggest Swedish vendors on Silk Road (out of 100). 8 of them has already been charged.” 4 Swedish sellers are currently known to have been arrested: Speedsweden, SweExpress, Livefromsweden, Alexandrus. That leaves 4 missing.
In “August/September 2014”, 22yo Cheltenham man Jordan Richards-Chiverton’s (“Luigi”) order of 13.5g of cocaine from a DNM seller in Costa Rica was intercepted at a postal handling center, and he was CDed at the post office; he likely resold locally, and was sentenced to 2 years.
Our campaign against #DarkWeb criminality continues - 5 men in their 20s charged with drug offences on dark web forums…Manchester men face over 40 charges of supplying drugs globally via #DarkWeb forums
Vice journalist Joseph Cox asked the NCA for more details; this is all they would tell him:
charged with a range of offences relating to possessing and supplying controlled drugs.
- Basil ASSAF (born 1991) - Bombay House, Whitworth St, Manchester
- Jamie RODEN (born 1992) - Half Moon Lane, East London
- Elliot HYAMS (born 1992) - Copperkins Lane, Amersham
- Jaikishen PATEL (born 1992) - Woodford Ave, Ilford
- Joshua MORGAN (born 1989) - Chapeltown St, Manchester
All are due before Manchester City Magistrates on 14/05/15
It’s unclear if they were Silk Road related or not - 3 of them may be the still-unidentified 3 Manchester sellers arrested simultaneous with the Silk Road 1 raid in October 2013, and then the other 2 are unrelated or perhaps accomplices discovered subsequently. (The ages & location do not match the charges announced with PlutoPete, however.)
2015-07-28, the 47yo man Ian MacPhee was arrested while serving as the drop for the 38yo man Darren Hillyer (“Emma”), receiving a CD over “a Ruger LC9 9mm handgun and 50 rounds of ammunition” that Hillyer had ordered from yet another undercover agent on an unnamed market (likely not Evolution which had closed March 2015; Agora banned gun sales on 2015-07-15, so that’s possible). MacPhee was fined and Hillyer was sentenced to 5 years in November 2015.
A 2015-09-29 media article reported that 21yo college student Benjamin Koops had been sentenced after pleading guilty to importing marijuana from the USA through the ‘dark web’, which he resold locally to his friends, being busted after “two packages of cannabis were intercepted by the National Crime Agency and traced to Koops”. It does not specify the market, whether Customs intercepted the packages, or when he was raided.
The 31yo Bury UK man Montgomery Richard Kyle Byrne was arrested sometime in August 2015 in a gas station restroom trying to pay for a Glock pistol & 300 rounds he arranged on the “dark web”; he pled guilty and was sentenced to 6 years in January 2016. Details of the case were not given in coverage, but since it was an offline meeting, it is clear that it was not a Customs intercept and that Byrne was buying from yet another flipped or undercover seller account (not weaponsguy, as that account was closed long before August 2015).
The 26yo south London man Dwain Osborne was arrested sometime in October 2015 related to an attempt to buy a Glock pistol & ammo (media: 1, 2, 3); it is unspecified which DNM. He was busted because “the dealer who offered to sell him the gun and ammunition was a US agent”. He was bailed but a search in February 2016 turned up cocaine, packaging material, passports & a police uniform, and information on the prison he worked at.
In late October 2015, 19yo Welsh woman Megan Schadeberg was charged with attempting to buy a Glock pistol, ostensibly for suicide; she told her psychiatrist and he informed the authorities, and was committed in March 2016. (media: 1, 2, 3) She had read up on the DNMs and had acquired Bitcoin and picked a Glock listing on an unspecified DNM, but apparently had not yet pulled the trigger on her order.
22yo Stirling man Mark Dornan ordered 500g of marijuana for local resale from Belgium which was intercepted by Customs and he was raided on 2016-04-08.
In June 2016, Exeter couple Kelly & Ross Brennan were raided after packages of diazepam sent to customers in Ireland were intercepted and traced back to them; they had been buying diazepam (and bank card for fraud) off the ‘dark web’ and reselling them to Irish customers using social media/email.
21yo Smethwick man Moynul Haque ordered a Glock pistol from an unspecified seller “between April 1 and May 10” 2015; the seller shipped it from Michigan but was already being investigated by LE, who followed him to the post office & intercepted his package, and turned the information over to UK police, who raided Haque, turning up some amphetamine and his computer’s records detailing his order. (media: 1, 2, 3) He was sentenced June 2015 to 10 months.
2013-11-25, Brandon Howell was arrested after “a month-long investigation” in North Carolina; he & his partner “imported MDMA from China through an online black market…The two then resold the imported drugs using the online currency Bitcoin, according to police.” It is not clear which seller they were or what market they sold on, but the media coverage mentions Silk Road 1.
2014-06-20, the Boise Idaho buyer Jasen Crisp received a CD of a 100g package of MDMA he had ordered from Canada (press release, #1:14-cr-00226-EJL) and cooperated; his lawyer’s sentencing filing writes that he used an “electronic currency” to use the “uncommon means” of ordering on the Internet from “a secret marketplace”, so Crisp clearly ordered off one of the DNMs, but it remains unclear which market and which seller.
On the Bungee54 forums, the customer service account “Santos L. Helperb” said on 2014-10-20, in response to customers fretting over claims of CDs on Reddit, that Bungee54 in the past 4 months had had only two buyer incidents: “1 was a controlled delivery in US around July - buyer had been investigated before. None of both orders were above 25g”. While the drug & timing is similar (MDMA, late June vs “around July”), this US buyer cannot be Jasen Crisp: Bungee54 did not ship from Canada, Crisp did not have a prior record (that I found), and his intercepted MDMA order was >4x larger than this one.
At the same time as Operation Onymous, the FBI raided a home in West Haven, Connecticut ~2014-11-06; it is unknown whether anyone was arrested or what market they may have been associated with. (Speculation so far has only suggested the Agora seller “Nawlins”.)
The FBI also raided a New Orleans, Louisiana 2014-11-06, but similarly nothing is known about the results.
The original Operation Onymous press release boasted of 17 arrests, involving LE from “Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the USA” (“the arrests were scattered over the US and Europe.”); not all of these are market-connected as they could also be related to scam sites, seller shops, or running content sites (doxbins, revenge porn, etc) and the original releases counted seized websites in the most inflated way possible:
Blake Benthall; San Francisco, California USA; SR2 operator
???; West Haven, Connecticut USA; ???
???; New Orleans, Louisiana USA; ???
David Schell; California USA; SR2 seller CaliforniaCanibas (the press release is dated 2014-11-07, and the Schells seem to have been arrested the day before, 2014-11-06, so they are probably included in the count)
Teri Schell; California USA; SR2 seller CaliforniaCanibas
???; Switzerland; operator of the scam site “Black Market”
???; Barcelona Spain; seems to have been the operator of a scam site (translation) claiming to sell carding-related goods, perhaps “Super Note Counter” or “Sol’s Unified USD Counterfeit’s” or “Fast Cash!” (all named in the Operation Onymous seizure papers)
6 UK arrests; 3 have been named publicly, and the charges suggest 1 seller & 2 buyers (unknown which)
Ireland: 2 arrests
France seized 2 servers, and “several” people were arrested in Germany
this gives a final total of:
- USA: Benthall + the Schells = 3
- Hungary: Hydra = 1
- Spain & Switzerland = 2 (fraudsters)
- UK: 6
- German: ???
- Ireland: 2
- 14 known arrests; 3 are missing, but at least 2 must be German arrests, and hypothetically the last could be from any combination of the mentioned participating countries unrepresented in the above list (“…Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, … Romania, Sweden”) but is probably German as well
2015-01-06, the Princeton student Julian Edgren was arrested & later pled guilty after a CD package of MDMA, and was sentenced to 5 years in September 2015 of which he served 0.33 years; warrants also turned up mushrooms/psilocybin, marijuana, LSD, hashish, and Adderall. It is known Edgren had been a The Marketplace customer, but TMP had closed down months before January 2015 after Operation Onymous, so he could not have been using TMP for that order. (The pricing might suggest a Canadian source.)
2015-02-23, the South Carolinian man Joseph Patrick Gelli received a summons for a money-laundering charge related to $30k of Bitcoin he had purchased through Coinbase using cash deposited to his bank account (indictment; press release); a search of his home at an unknown point also turned up cash and “marijuana and psychotropic mushrooms” (presumably psilocybin). He apparently had been buying off an unspecified DNM for local resale, but given the money-laundering focus, it seems unlikely that he suffered the usual fate of a customer snitching.
2015-03-03, the Indiana University student Andrew Thrall was arrested for importing Xanax pills from Canada which he had bought “online using bit coins” and resold to his fraternity; the investigation apparently began November 2014, but the media articles did not mention what triggered it (a Customs intercept? or related to the local reselling). The seller & market are unknown (suggested sellers include Quantik, Magicman, & Yacht club).
2015-03-26, New Jersey man Michael Regan was arrested in a CD of LSD ordered from the Netherlands.
On the same day, 2015-03-26, Alabama man Ryan Andrew Backer was also arrested after a search turned up the LSD he had “ordered…online from a source in the Netherlands”. While neither order is stated to have been DNM-related, several factors suggest strongly that these two cases are: the simultaneous arrests is unusual but common when a seller has been profiled and multiple packages can be intercepted simultaneously; LSD is particularly difficult to intercept by Customs; both men are young; the quantities are small; Backer’s order is explicitly said to have been online rather than through other channels; and German & Dutch sellers have been having particular difficulty 2014-2015. (If so, then the specific seller may have been “HollandOnline”.)
In January 2016, the fourth arrest of a bust centering around 4 Shelter Island, NY men was made, involving fentanyl, alprazolam, cocaine and oxycodone through the mail & DNMs, although coverage was vague about whether the 4 men were selling from Shelter Island or were buying to resell locally: “According to the police, those arrests last year came out of an investigation centering on powerful prescription and nonprescription drugs sent to the Island through the U.S. Mail. The investigation also uncovered use of black market Internet sites - the so-called”Dark Web,” or sites difficult to trace - counterfeit currency and the use of Bitcoin, the digital currency, according to the police…In the case against the three young men, more than 25 packages containing narcotics were sent to the Island through the U.S. Mail, including fentanyl, alprazolam, cocaine and oxycodone, police said. Prescription drugs in tablet form were taken into evidence along with non-prescription narcotics in powder form. Electronic messaging and payments, including money orders and other fund transfers, were used to order and pay for the drugs from distributors off-Island, according to the police.”
In March 2016, charges were announced against 3 NY men, 30yo Richard Petix / 20yo Zhe Wang / 20yo Kevin Szura (case
1:2016-cr-00026; press release, complaint, media). Petix had sold Bitcoin to an undercover agent, as he had to Wang/Szura; in an undercover buy beginning 2016-02-29, they admitted using the bitcoins to import MDMA & Xanax from a Canadian DNM seller for resale locally, and were arrested at the second one 2016-03-07.
2016-05-03, 20yo Pennsylvania college student Michael Mancini was arrested; a fellow student seems to have informed the police and perhaps his dorm director that he was reselling small amounts of LSD, who then began inspecting his mail, leading to an interception of an LSD order from Hawaii & subsequent search & arrest.
In the UK gun case of Moynul Haque, media coverage mentions that “The court heard Haque purchased the goods from an American man via the dark web, a secretive section of the World Wide Web used for criminal activity. Homeland Security agents were investigating the US citizen, and in April last year followed him to a post office where they intercepted a parcel addressed to Haque’s home in Brasshouse Lane, Smethwick, where he lived with his parents and three siblings.” (specifically, “between April 1 and May 10” 2015) No further details are known about who this Michigan gun seller is or when they were arrested.
2015-10-29, University of Buffalo student Zhe Wang was raided over Xanax sales; after sales to an undercover officer on 2016-02-29, Zhe Wang & Kevin Szura were arrested for MDMA & Xanax (complaint; media).
Utopia was a market launched after the fall of SR1 by ~2 BMR staffers as a competitor and then when BMR decided to shut down, a replacement. Shockingly, it was raided by Dutch police a week after its official opening - it turned out that the staffers had already been infiltrated while working for BMR, 5 Dutch & German men were arrested, and the servers seized. The sequence of events is a bit difficult to determine from the Dutch-language sources; but it seems that the Dutch investigation made contact with a BMR staffer and talked about buying 1 kilo of cocaine, the staffer agreed and met them offline on 2013-03-06, tried to hire the Dutch UC for a hit on an unspecified person, surveillance of them/cars & their phones (text messages & calls discussing their drug deals & Utopia), one of them arrested 2013-10-04 in Woudenberg while transporting kilos of MDMA/cocaine/marijuana/amphetamines, the Utopia servers were apparently living at one of their homes, and presumably the rest writes itself. (Media: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Post-release interview with CosaNostra.)
Sending drugs through the mail turns out to be a surprisingly common practice, and there are many cases of people being busted for receiving packages of drugs (particularly with the rise of marijuana legalization in American states), sometimes through online mechanisms (eg. Instagram). The Drugs Global Incident Map features many online-related busts, and long lists can be compiled from law enforcement press releases & local news media.1516171819
Most are likely unrelated to the DNMs (part of regular drug smuggling or importing from fly-by-night chemical labs in China) and some rumors are wrong or flatly made up (for example, a seller may be covering up an exit scam with a fake story about being busted, or one seller may be trying to hurt another’s sales eg. the TedDanzig incident or the 4lb PureFireMeds FUD), but of course, some will turn out to be real.
A Reddit user in March 2014 claims that he was approached by police using information from an unspecified SR1 seller being prosecuted. No confirmation.
The Agora seller Ripefreefly reportedly claimed in May 2014 on his seller page to have been busted and was pleading guilty; his story has some issues and I have seen no confirmation.
2014-08-26, a “cook” / underground-lab for steroids was busted in Australia; this may have been the supplier for the SR2 steroids seller “UGLOZ” and related to why UGLOZ apparently began scamming in early August according to the SR2F.
A Bendigo, Victoria gang leader, 25yo Dean Poot, was arrested 2016-05-17 for methamphetamine trafficking; the meth was imported by mail and the “dark web” may have been involved in some fashion.
The Bungee54 group was a respected high-volume bulk seller of MDMA based in Germany/Netherlands, selling on the bigger marketplaces and their own shop; their scale (they must have been turning over at least €1m annually) meant they were a LE target and if they were not, still liable to trigger investigations through packages being intercepted and profiled. As such there were tremendous speculation that members had been flipped & the group had been or would soon be busted (eg. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) much like Shiny Flakes had been, and after Operation Onymous, Bungee54 temporarily retired. One staffer told me that while a sysadmin had a close shave (anonymity-wise) during Operation Onymous, but no arrest reports have come out of Germany which sound like them as of April 2015 so they probably succeeded in a clean shutdown.
The German Agora seller “RedBull” disappeared February 2015, citing a German police raid which on 2015-02-02 rounded up a total of 11 men for marijuana, amphetamines, weapons, forgery of official documents & credit cards, and “gefälschte Wertzeichen” which probably refers to faking postal stamps (to save money on shipments). It’s unknown whether RedBull was one of them or remains at liberty.
A 26yo Wendelstein man Franz K bought 203g of hash & marijuana from “Atlas 2012” or “Ronny Kolbenzurichter” and was sentenced on 2016-01-05 to 9 months.
2013-07-05, Israeli police announced 30 arrests; Google Translate indicates that these arrests were related to online sellers of “dangerous drugs” using the “darknet” and possibly Bitcoins after Israeli law enforcement made undercover purchases, but no market is specified and it seems hard to believe that as many as 30 people could be busted without any notice being taken on SR1/BMR (the main markets in July 2013).
The Israeli man Petah Tikva was 2015-05-12 for marijuana sent from the Netherlands.
A 30yo man Luke William Taylor was arrested during Operation Hyderabad (sometime around November 2014) for importing methamphetamine, MDMA, & LSD from the USA & Germany to use & resell. Silk Road is mentioned in the two media articles but despite suggestive aspects like his importing stopping around when SR2 closed, Taylor is not said to have used it.
A Reddit user claims on 2015-01-22 to have, “a few months ago” ordered LSD from Canada, which was intercepted and been knock-and-talked by Customs.
2015-10-24, a group of 8 New Zealand soldiers (apparently all male) at a party purchased MDMA from apparently an acquaintance they met outside the bar; the MDMA turned out to be a NBOMe that may or may not have been purchased on a “Silk Road-like website” as the media writeups are unclear; several of them had a bad trip, and were arrested. Of them, 5 were discharged, and 3 court-martialed; 2 of those were found guilty but not discharged.
A Redditor claims to be a US corrections officer and that one of his inmates was a Sheep buyer reselling locally who was turned in by his girlfriend and then arrested after a controlled buy.
A poster claims that the German marijuana seller “Hanfliebhaber” (“cannabis lovers”) on Sheep Marketplace was busted before 2013-11-28 due to reuse of a single post office, and that details are available on the Sheep forums; unfortunately, I did not save a copy before the site & forums disappeared in an exit scam, and have been unable to find any confirmation other than one or two forum posts in German elsewhere complaining about a scam or speculating he had been arrested.
A November 2014 claim of a CD for marijuana from Mexico in January 2013.
Similarly, one Redditor claims on 2013-05-23 that an acquaintance was 2013-05-22 for an international package of pills ordered from SR1.
A Redditor claims in early October 2014 to have been raided after buying MDMA & “speed” from Interways off SR2.
A November 2014 claim that “My friend got a lb seized from Canada got raided 2 days after he got the seizure letter”.
A Reddit rumor claims a “big” Evolution marijuana seller was arrested 2015-02-10 (possibly Newport, Skyvype, or Hera).
A pseudonymous Redditor claims to have been arrested & charged over SR1 cocaine sometime in 2012, but not convicted.
2013 Congressional hearings on Bitcoin, the Department of Homeland Security’s letter to the Congressional committee made a curious claim:
The U.S. Secret Service (USSS) has partnered with Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Drug Enforcement Agency, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on an investigation into the Silk Road…The purpose of this investigation has been to focus on the identification of the site’s main administrator, referred to as Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR). Of recent noteworthy interest was the determination that the suspect who had sent Ricin to President Obama earlier this year was a vendor on the Silk Road site.
There were several ricin letters in 2013, whose senders were prosecuted, but I was unable to turn up any kind of link between them and Silk Road and discussion produced no additional concrete evidence of what this ricin letter was about, which seller, or whether they were arrested.
A SR1F user named “East India Traitor” corresponded with DPR1, probably before June 2013, claiming to share inside information on the LE investigations into SR1 & the DoS attacks and that he had spent 6 months in prison related to SR1 activities; I discount his claims as many of them contradict what is now known about the investigations.
A Redditor claims a friend was arrested at his PO box, a second claims his cousin was convicted of ordering marijuana & MDMA without a controlled delivery, and there were several claims to have been arrested or convicted in an August 2013 Reddit discussion (these claims are not verifiable).
A SR1F rumor claimed that the marijuana seller Maryjanelane had been arrested shortly before the October bust.
Through December 2013 - January 2014, multiple Reddit throwaways began claiming that they were visited or searched by LE from the former Sheep Marketplace seller “Pillboxy” who had shifted to doing orders over
safe-mail.net email (as well as that he was a scammer extortionist). No verifiable details were provided.
A Redditor claims to have been arrested in Virginia in April 2014 while tripping on 25-NBOMe.
2014-03-19, in Leesburg Virginia, Thomas C. Watson was arrested after a controlled delivery of an intercepted package of oxycodone & MDMA; he wrote “return to sender” on it & denied any connection, and ultimately the charges were dropped. Because of his technological savvy (“the founder of Capital Computers and Network, an IT company”; cf. CALIGIRL) and return-to-sender gambit (sometimes advised as an anti-CD tactic) and the small quantities (suggesting a personal purchase rather than being set up as a drop), speculation was rife that Watson was a DNM buyer, but no concrete evidence ever surfaced.
Around April-May 2014, the SR2 Californian methamphetamine sellers AoD and Chaletla ceased sales, leading to speculation about being busted or linked to a large Californian bust of cartel dealers in methamphetamine & other drugs.
2014-09-15, North Carolinian Scott Patrick Royal was arrested after a CD for a small order of MDMA pills from Germany; no Bitcoin or Internet connection was mentioned in news article but speculation was Toyota on Agora.
An anonymous user reports that in November 2014, during a DUI-related search of his car, LE found “a sheet of 25i-NBOMe and some synthetic cannabinoids” he’d bought from Agora, but escaped severe punishment due to a good lawyer & getting into a diversion program; he says the prosecutor was not surprised to hear he’d bought it off Agora.
A Mid-Western Redditor reports on 2014-11-12 (post-Operation Onymous) that an acquaintance had been arrested after picking up a SR2 package; he says that he was a local reseller of LSD & other psychedelics.
2014-12-12, the Massachusetts man Christopher D. Barr was arrested for importing MDMA & methylone from Germany & China hidden in DVD cases, the police crediting “a tip” for the case. While there is no mention of DNMs being involved, DVD cases are a common form of stealth, leading to speculation.
In February 2015, UCF student Peter John Faucella was arrested in Florida after an intercepted package of marijuana; previously, a UCF student may have posted on the / r / DNM subreddits asking for help.
2015-02-09, Michael R. Winchester was arrested in Kentucky after a tip about his local dealing; he was apparently also a well-known Topix.com seller of benzodiazepines, and may at some point have sold on the DNMs.
No single theme emerges reading through the many arrests.
Some people are busted through sheer bad luck in being randomly pulled over or their packages inspected; some are undone by other peoples’ mistakes, and some have no one but themselves to blame for talking to a policeman and blurting out all their secrets; some are undone by their trust in others, and some are undone by lying to federal agents; some are undone by signing for packages, while others are undone by a stray fingerprint; some followed the OPSEC rules and some engaged in mindboggling follies like using their real return address or accepting payment to their own bank account or running their own clearnet site; some clammed up, denied everything, and saved themselves, while others kept records of everything (perhaps in the misguided belief it would earn them clemency in the worst) and only condemned themselves; some were busted at home, others in the totalitarian zones of international borders; some were busted through high-tech browser-based deanonymization but most through low-tech methods like a customer or friend snitching; some sellers’ packages are spotted during Customs inspections, and some are noticed only when delivery fails & the bogus return addresses explode.
A few motifs do emerge:
many buyers go down to CDs and the subsequent searches turning up additional illegal goods, suggesting 2 major mitigations: never signing, and cleaning house to the extent possible when expecting a new delivery
international deliveries are highly risky for both the seller and the buyer, and Australia/NZ more so
sellers should be assumed to keep records & addresses; many have turned out to do so
but simple addresses seem minimally useful to LE as there are few known busts despite the many thousands of captured transaction records with addresses - with a few exceptions:
- if the address is from an account which is itself a seller (an argument for single-role accounts)
- the seller has been infiltrated but not yet busted, and there are orders ‘in flight’ which can be turned into quick & easy CDs
- the products being sold are guns or poisons, in which case, retrospective arrests may be tried
Bitcoin works as a payment method: sellers using any other method (Paypal, bank deposits, Western Union) invariably come to grief, and attempted use of such methods may be a red flag for a LE-controlled account
guns and poisons seem to bring grief to everyone around them: despite being the minutest of categories (sometimes with zero sellers on the markets which permit them), busts of buyers & sellers are well-represented.
In particular, LE is willing to spend particular efforts following buyers across international borders, makes busts based on records of addresses (as exemplified by the BMR busts in which old customers were followed up on, in contrast to drug busts where thousands of addresses fall into LE hands without visible effect), and operate flipped seller accounts for months (eg. the Agora weaponsguy case, where undercover purchases led to a formerly legitimate seller, flipped him, and made dozens of sales/arrests afterwards covered up by coerced positive feedback).
I tend to think that guns is a difficult category for DNM sellers: such sellers are operating in a low-profit small niche often excluded from DNMs, one which is especially vulnerable to mail interception (metal parts), a product type hard to sell in smaller units (what’s 10g of a handgun?), where LE is very interested in busting them, and very willing to spend the time & money to do undercover purchases in order to traceback, arrest, flip, trace past buyers, and operate undercover sales to bust future buyers. The paradigmatic examples for me are the web of BMR gun/poison sellers/buyers, a few Evolution ones, and weaponsguy on Agora.
It’s not too surprising that guns would fail as a DNM product category while things like MDMA sell like hotcakes. It is more than a little bit ridiculous to suggest that anyone in the USA who wants a gun might seriously try to buy it on a DNM, when there’s something like 350 million guns already floating around the USA which can be easily bought through myriads of avenues, many legally, and transported easily anywhere within the continental USA with cars. (Some of my relatives have accumulated 8 shotguns and rifles of various kinds, and they were hardly even trying or living in a gun-friendly state.) This is probably why so many of the gun DNM arrests are international, especially Australian or English: their gun control is reasonably successful, so the lazy and foolish people see DNMs (too foolish to think seriously about how drugs differ substantially from metal guns in terms of passing Customs or to review the history of arrests and note how many previous DNM gun buyers discovered the hard way that they were purchasing straight from an undercover officer) as the easiest way. Every time I read a gun or ricin DNM arrest, I shake my head at how incompetent they were and how they saw no red flags interacting with the undercover agent20. A fair number come off as just troubled young people, and you have to wonder how much entrapment there was, similar to how the FBI manufactures terrorist plots with its ‘informants’.
This makes evaluating the true risk of guns hard: there are not many gun sellers. They are on only a few DNMs. A gun seller can be legitimate and accused of scamming because sending guns is hard; they can be legitimate and then flipped by undercover buyers and then become LE; in fact, they can be LE even while ‘selling’ guns all around the world to dozens of buyers and receiving great feedback! Guns/poisons are an uniquely tricky category because LE uses the full bag of tricks on occasion, while in normal categories like drugs there’s only a very few cases of LE doing tricky things like allowing some additional drug shipments to go out (usually involving informants like XanaxKing). But based on how relatively rare guns are, I suspect it is likely the single riskiest category on the DNMs.
How complete is this inventory of arrests, that is, what percentage of all DNM related cases are listed in the table? There are many reasons to expect the table to be incomplete:
- anyone arrested will do their best to minimize any connection to drugs in general, or varieties of conspiracy, RICO, money laundering, or interstate charges which might be entailed by admitting to anything related to the DNMs or Bitcoin
- if they are arrested and the connection comes out, the case may never become public for many reasons - various legal or privacy regulations may block it, it may simply not hit the media because it was ‘just’ another local drug case, or it may be deliberately kept secret as part of ongoing investigations (and LE admits as much - in one article they are paraphrased as saying “Not all of those charges have been made public.”, and other tactics include “sealing documents, eliminating key information from public documents that point to the investigation - for example, the name Silk Road - or filing state charges instead of federal ones to keep a suspect’s records out of the more-easily searched federal court [PACER] database.”).
- the information may be public, but media coverage gets it wrong; unsophisticated & overworked journalists routinely confuse the deep web, dark web, forums, etc
- the media coverage may be right but is not in English
Some evidence points weakly at how comprehensive this table may be:
- public cases can be divided into reasonably well-documented ones, and ones inferred from aggregate figures or media blurbs; for example, the bare name of the arrested person is unknown in more than half of the cases
- the aggregate time lags from when each person was arrested to when their case became known (possibly through indirect means such as carefully parsing complaints and evidence from other cases) suggest that ~90% of public cases become known in the first year but then there is a very long tail of arrests surfacing in the public record years later, implying that for 2012 onwards each year cannot be >90% complete even if we assumed that all cases became public (because for more recent years, cases have not finished surfacing)
- the informant Carl Force told DPR that there had been many account compromises on BMR and “a few quiet busts”, where at the most generous, only 3 cases are known, suggesting a known:total BMR rate of <33%
- in SR1, the UK press release specified the total number of arrests; the UK arrests remain otherwise unknown
- in the Xanax King case, a subsequent court filing specified the full number of related arrests, which can be compared with media articles on identified or likely XK buyers, suggesting a known:total rate of ~10%
- in Operation Onymous, the joint press release specified the total number of arrests; many are still unknown
- the Ross Ulbricht trial revealed several unknown arrests (at a minimum: Deezletime, alllove, Richard Bates) which would likely have never surfaced if Ulbricht had plea-bargained and avoided trial
- Australian police have sometimes quoted aggregate Silk Road-related figures; an example is the statement that 6 Australians were arrested in June 2013 for SR1-related activities, yet, information about only one has been uncovered so far.
- the long-running “weaponsguy” Agora gun sting yielded, according to a press release, 17 arrests globally; only 1 arrest is known otherwise.
In aggregate, I would guess that the completeness of the table is highly unlikely to be >25% and more likely to be < = 10% (but the completeness is probably much higher for site operators, then staff, then sellers, and least of all buyers).
library(XML) library(RCurl) html <- getURL("https://gwern.net/DNM-arrests#table") arrests <- readHTMLTable(html, colClasses = c("character", "factor", "integer", "character", "factor", "factor", "character", "factor", "factor", "character", "logical", as.Date, as.Date, "character"))[] # replace all empty-fields/""s with NAs arrests[1:11][arrests[1:11] == ""] <- NA # include most probable date of all XK arrests arrests[!is.na(arrests$Seller) & arrests$Seller=="Xanax King" & is.na(arrests$Date),]$Date <- as.Date("2014-06-02") # look for similar but not identical drug lists to respell or recapitalize them in the table: sort(unique(sub("^ ", "", unlist(strsplit(levels(arrests$Product), ","))))) # now that the Product field is clean and everything is written the same way, # unfold the heterogeneous Product field into 1/0-coded per-drug columns: # https://stackoverflow.com/questions/28272540/convert-list-of-vectors-into-data-frame-of-counts library(qdapTools) arrests <- cbind(arrests, mtabulate(strsplit(gsub(" ", "", as.character(arrests$Product)), ","))) # for those curious who the 12% women are: arrests[arrests$Sex=="F" & !is.na(arrests$Sex),]$Name # how many past cases can we expect to emerge to public notice in the future? not that many; # when a case ever becomes public knowledge, it usually does so quickly, as I see a very # long but very thin tail of cases popping up more than half a year after they happened. # This is helpful to know - we can't know how many forever-unknown cases there are, but at # least I can be fairly confident that I've captured many of the public cases and I won't # be, say, suddenly overwhelmed next year by a ton of SR1 cases from 2012 popping up and # undermining conclusions hist(as.integer(na.omit(with(arrests, Known - Date)))) # summary statistics: nrow(arrests) # total arrest table(arrests$Sex) / (table(arrests$Sex)+table(arrests$Sex)) # gender ratio length(levels(arrests$Country)) # number of countries sort(table(arrests$Country), decreasing=TRUE) # countries by count: sort(table(arrests$Role), decreasing=TRUE) # buyer/seller/staff/operator sort(table(arrests$Market), decreasing=TRUE) # associated market: intl <- table(arrests[arrests$Role=="buyer",]$INTL); intl / (intl+intl) # estimate of international order risk: sort(table(sub("^ ", "", unlist(strsplit(levels(arrests$Product), ",")))), decreasing=TRUE) # drug popularity ## fraction site operators/ sites busted: black <- readHTMLTable("https://gwern.net/DNM-survival")[] nrow(black) sum(arrests$Role=="operator", na.rm=TRUE) / nrow(black) arrests$YearMonth <- strftime(arrests$Date, format="%Y-%m") arrests$Year <- strftime(arrests$Date, format="%Y") x <- data.frame(with(arrests, table(Country, YearMonth))) x2 <- data.frame(with(arrests, table(Country, Year))) library(ggplot2) ## buyers seem to skew younger than sellers: wilcox.test(arrests[arrests$Role=="buyer",]$Age, arrests[arrests$Role=="seller",]$Age) # Wilcoxon rank sum test with continuity correction # # data: arrests[arrests$Role == "buyer", ]$Age and arrests[arrests$Role == "seller", ]$Age # W = 1138, p-value = 3.699482e-10 ggplot(arrests[arrests$Role=="buyer" | arrests$Role=="seller",], aes(x = Age, color=Role)) + geom_density() ## https://i.imgur.com/NuYX0ca.png ## simple plot: arrests over time as a monthly bar-chart/histogram, internally split by country: https://i.imgur.com/3Z5MsLG.png qplot(Date, color=Country, data=arrests) ## what if we plot lines for each country? but most countries are represented by a handful of arrests and the modal data is 0 ## arrests per month... useless: https://i.imgur.com/ys1qGgh.png qplot(YearMonth, log1p(Freq), data=x) + facet_grid(Country ~ .) ## try stacking the other way: https://imgur.com/gsol6Vr still pretty meh qplot(YearMonth, log1p(Freq), color=Country, facets=. ~ Country, data=x)
pg10 of CaliConnect complaint:
As part of the investigation, the FBI was able to seize information about vendors on the Silk Road, which has since been made available to law enforcement. 27. The Silk Road NTC Vendor List, referenced above, contained a list of vendors on Silk Road with over $100,000.00 in sales, compiled from information on computing servers that were seized by law enforcement during the investigation into Silk Road. Included in this document was the vendor name “caliconnect.” “Caliconnect” was described as a marijuana trafficker with a sales volume at approximately $1,250,248.65. “Caliconnect” is listed on the NTC Vendor List as the one of the largest vendors on the Silk Road.The FBI estimates that “caliconnect” was the eighteenth largest vendor worldwide out of the approximately 4,000 vendors who sold goods on the Silk Road.As such, this information indicated that BURCHARD was likely a large-scale vendor on the Silk Road utilizing the vendor name “Caliconnect.” I requested additional data from the seized Silk Road servers pertaining to “Caliconnect.” I received this information on June 11, 2015and began to review it (as described below)
CFA Solorio provided me with decrypted messages found on BURCHARD’s thumb drive. BURCHARD used a program called GPG4USB, which automatically used Burchard’s Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) private key to decrypt messages sent to him from customers. The GPG4USB program required a password to decrypt messages. CFA Solorio discovered that “asshole209” was the password, which was a password utilized by BURCHARD based on subpoenaed records obtained by me…I noted approximately 49 orders within the decrypted messages from customers who were buying marijuana from BURCHARD.
See Cheng Le complaint: “In or about mid-2014, an FBI online covert employee (the ‘OCE’) assumed online Dark-Web identity, which had previously been used by a trafficker in illicit materials, including, among other things, biological toxins.”↩︎
Dark_Mart last posts on Evolution 2014-03-03 normally then posts again on 2014-08-29 that “I just recently logged back into evo and contacted some of you about my status. The bottom line is that one of my suppliers got arrested on gun charges and it brought some heat on our operation. I had to go off the grid for a while but Dark_Mart is back!”↩︎
“My solicitor is confidant [sic] I’ve broken no UK laws in selling my products, but they did find a small amount of class A and class B drugs that were for my own personal use so i will be charged with that at the very least.”↩︎
The meat of his plea deal is sealed, but it does say
In January 2012, the defendant voluntarily admitted to federal agents with Homeland Securities Investigations that he acquired and sold drugs as described above. He voluntarily granted investigators access to emails, postal shipping records, financial accounts, and other information that corroborated these sales.
This phrasing is, however, also consistent with common scenarios such as being raided and agreeing to cooperate.↩︎
I believe that BRIDGES controlled and/or had access with others to “Number13”, the account that appears to have initiated the sizeable bitcoin thefts. I believe this for at least two reasons. First, in a DEA 6 that FORCE authored dated January 23, 2013 , FORCE described how he had transferred 60 bitcoins into a DEA-controlled account known as “TrustUsJones”. Data from the Silk Road servers demonstrates that on that January 23, 2013 date, there was a 60 bitcoin transfer from “Number13” into “TrustUsJones”. Second, in an email dated January 23, 2013, FORCE emailed BRIDGES requesting that BRIDGES deposit bitcoins to replenish the “TrustUsJones” account. In other words, BRIDGES, in consultation with FORCE, appears to have been controlling “Number13” during the late January 2013 timeframe.
Website archives on this page are provided in the
.maffMozilla Archive Format; it improves on MHTML by storing multiple webpages in a single container (useful for compiling a set of web pages all on the same topic, such as multiple forum threads) and by compressing the contents (important for extremely long forum threads). Firefox users can view the archives using the Firefox extension.↩︎
“There are several related cases. The owner and operator of Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht [DPR], is charged with Murder for hire…Other individuals charged in the District of Maryland connection with the Marco Polo task force include Jacob Theodore George IV (CCB-13-0593) [Digitalink], Curtis Clark Green (CCB-13-0592) [Chronicpain], and David Lawrence Handel (CCB-13-0313) [???]. Other individuals have been charged with crimes involving from Silk Road in jurisdictions around the United States and in foreign countries.”↩︎
The complaint calls the source “CS-1”, but given the date November 2011, the presence of methylone, the mention of spending counterfeit in Baltimore, and his arrest, it is highly unlikely that CS-1 is anyone other than digitalink.↩︎
Some relevant excerpts from the complaint:
Starting in November 2011, agents with Homeland Security Investigations conducted several interviews with a source in Maryland (CS-1) [Digitalink?]. CS-1 had been selling illegal drugs on Silk Road. CS-1 explained how Silk Road worked to the agents, and voluntarily provided access to CS-1’s Silk Road accounts, email accounts, and Bitcoin accounts that documented CS-1’s own involvement in Silk Road. CS-1’s computer was also found to contain CS-1’s “customer records”, including names and addresses of hundreds of individuals (in the United States and other countries) that received drug shipments from CS-1. [CS-1 was initially not truthful about being a drug dealer on Silk Road. CS-1 was also arrested because he continued to use illegal drugs after his first interview with agents. However, the information provided by CS-1 relied upon in this affidavit has been corroborated by agents’ review of the CS-1’s Silk Road and email accounts, and files contained on CS-1’s computer.]
…Among the information provided by CS-1, were records of drugs sold to Sheldon Kennedy, using the alias “edgarnumbers”, and shipped to 2222 N. Cotner Blvd, Lincoln, Nebraska, 68505 (the “Residence”)…Undercover agents also communicated with Kennedy and made purchases from Kennedy on Silk Road using aliases (including the online identity of CS-1). Kennedy sold these products via Silk Road under the alias “edgarnumbers”. These purchases were made from product Kennedy listed as available for sale on Silk Road, and were paid for in Bitcoin. In each case, Kennedy shipped the contraband from Nebraska to an undercover agent in Maryland
…Agents queried Kennedy on www.facebook.com and discovered a publicly available profile identified as “Sheldon Kennedy”…Kennedy had made posts on his Facebook page stating he had firearms for sale…On June 28, 2013, a federal search warrant was executed at Kennedy’s residence…After signing a written Miranda form, Kennedy also made a voluntary statement to investigators. He admitted he started selling drugs and guns on Silk Road in Summer 2011. He admitted to selling a variety of drugs via Silk Road, including cocaine, methylone, and prescription medication. Kennedy advised that he buys narcotics from China, India, and Serbia. Kennedy admitted to obtaining 24 grams of cocaine from an online vendor which was “fronted”. He said he split up the 24 grams and sold them on Silk Road and made approximately $2,500 to $3,000
…Kennedy admitted to selling drugs on the Silk Road. He also admitted to selling firearms through Silk Road. Kennedy also voluntarily provided agents with control of his Silk Road account, email accounts, and electronic records showing shipping information (including name and address) for Kennedy’s sales of drugs and/or firearms. Kennedy also provided control of his financial accounts used to facilitate his criminal activity, including an account [on] the online Bitcoin exchange mtgox.com. A review of these accounts corroborated Kennedy’s statement.
From the search warrant:
…From January 2014 to July 2014, a FBI NY Source of Information (SOI) provided reliable IP addresses for TOR and hidden services such as SR2, which included its main marketplace URL (
silkroad6ownfk.onion), its vendor URL (
vx3w763ohd256iyh.onion), its forum URL (
silkroad5v7dywlc.onion) and its support interface (
uz434sei7arqunp6.onion). The SOI’s information ultimately led to the identification of SR2 servers, which led to the identification of at least seventeen black markets on TOR.
The SOI also identified approximately 78 IP addresses that accessed a vendor .onion address. A user cannot accidentally end up on the vendor site. The site is for vendors only, and access is only given to the site by the SR2 administrators/moderators after confirmation of a significant number of successful transactions. If an user visits the vendor URL, he or she is asked for an user name and password. Without an user name and password, the vendor web site cannot be viewed.
On July 30, 2014, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Seattle received information that an user associated with IP address 188.8.131.52 accessed the vendor portal of SR2. Records reveal the IP address was associated with a Comcast internet account registered to Steve Phelps at 4238 163rd Avenue SE - Bellevue, WA 98006. On August 8, 2014, the Washington Department of Licensing reported the following vehicle and driver information for that address:… On August 13, 2014, Homeland Security Investigations initiated surveillance activities on the above address, further observing the blue Volkswagen Beetle, and the white Chevrolet Camero…On October 10, 2014, Homeland Security investigations, assisted by a U.S. Postal Inspector, visited several U.S. Post Offices near 4238 163rd Avenue SE, Bellevue, WA 98006…Another employee at the same location recognized the photograph of Steve Phelps, further stating he may have dropped off a tub of letters for mailing and he drove a blue station wagon… [and so on through to pg9, then the rest seems to be search warrant boilerplate]
- “‘Bath salts’ package from China to USA intercepted by customs, tests positive for meth, 3 people charged after controlled delivery”
- “Australian Customs intercepts 16kg of meth concealed in treadmills from China, charge 2 men after controlled delivery”
- “Alaska drops charges against local meth / heroin package recipient & out of state sender”
- “Minnesota man charged for accepting 5 lb marijuana FedEx package (delivered by undercover DEA agent)”
- “Charges dropped for man who picked up package with 2kg hash oil addressed to him, claims he didn’t know what was in it”
Continued: - “Illinois man gets controlled delivery of 14 lb package of cannabis by Local Police & ‘Postal Interdiction Team’” - “US Customs intercepts GBL (liquid) package from Hong Kong to US residence, drug task force / DHS / PIS arrests recipients in controlled delivery” - “USPS Express Mail used to ship marijuana from Arizona to Michigan gets man six years in prison” - “Alaska man gets arrested in controlled delivery of 122g of double vac-sealed meth” - “Two men arrested in China Grove and Charlotte, NC, USA after 3 marijuana filled UPS packages were delivered” - “Police seize 32-pounds of marijuana from Waukesha (WI, USA) home”↩︎
- La Moustache: “The 中文 Connection”/“The Silk Road Travellers”
- “Feds charge MTA officer from Middletown”
- “Norwalk Police Bust Major Marijuana Operation After Finding Pot In Mail”
- “25 Arrested in NJ Drug Bust; LSD, Ecstasy, Cars, Shrooms Among Items Seized”
- “‘Breaking Bad’ fan arrested in million dollar drug bust”
- “Package from Belgium bound for Oakdale leads to drug arrests”
- “Police: Georgetown Man Receiving Pot In Disguised Pet Supply Packages”
- “Cops bust major synthetic drug operation”
- “Police Bust Couple Receiving Drugs Through the Mail”
- “Police bust drugs ring, find stolen carving: Twenty one people have been arrested and various weapons seized in a series of busts targeting the Wellington region’s drugs trade”
- “Man Sentenced In Mailing Of Meth In Mannequin Heads”
- “Chris Perez charged with possession” (USPS CD report)
- “Task Force Seizes Marijuana, Cash and Stolen Guns in Arrest of Smithsburg Man” / “Man Allegedly Bought Pot From Colorado To Sell In Maryland”
- “MAJOR BUST: Six people arrested after police intercept drug package, find surprise in home”
- “Intercepted Package Leads To Drug Takedown”
- “Summit County mail sting yields 10 arrests, 13 pounds of marijuana”
- “RAF corporal [Scott Cuckoo] jailed for importing ecstasy tablets and selling them online between tours of duty in Afghanistan”
- “Manchester, NH Police Seize 42 Pounds of Marijuana: Authorities say they were alerted by a U.S. postal inspector and a police dog about a suspicious package”
- “Virginia Beach police use ‘weed’ note to flush out suspected dealer”
- “5 Arrested in Maine for ‘Molly’ drugs by mail operation”
- “Police: Springville [Utah] man received heroin from Amsterdam”
- “Updated Dope Service Redux: Another postal worker accused of delivering weed, this time in Columbia, MD”
- “West Bethlehem drug raid prompted by controlled delivery of pot package, records say”
- “Thirty-five people indicted in ‘Operation Southern Postal Powder’”
- “Jailed: Drug smuggler who had cannabis delivered to him in a pink Frozen rucksack”
- “Man jailed for trying to smuggle £550,000 of heroin hidden in chessboards: Syed Naveed Shabir, 31, has been locked up for nine years after an undercover operation by the National Crime Agency”
- “Three arrested on marijuana charges during ‘nail the mailer’ operation; money, drugs, weapons seized”
- “Kansas City man accused of possessing 35,000 prescription pills”
- “Louisville man accused of obtaining potential date rape drug [ketamine] online”
- “Authorities: Millburn man arrested after receiving 2 pounds of marijuana”
- “Mother, daughter from NC charged after 11 pounds of marijuana found in the mail”
- “Undercover policeman impersonated postman in delivery of suspicious parcel”
- “Town of Ulster man busted after 25 pounds of pot delivered to his home”
- Further links omitted; you get the idea
eg, a real ricin seller won’t chat you up and remind you that, “you know, ricin can be used to kill people” or discuss how best to do it, since the less they know the better; that’s obviously an undercover agent trying to establish mens reus for the judge.↩︎