US charges three more people in Silk Road website case

Dec 21, 2013
US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, speaks at a press conference on November 4, 2013 in New York City

US authorities said Friday three more people were charged in connection with the operation of Silk Road, the online black market bazaar for drugs, hacker tools and other illicit goods.

US prosecutors said an indictment was unsealed in New York for the three, following the arrest of the alleged mastermind of Silk Road in October in San Francisco.

The statement was issued by the office of Preet Bharara, US attorney for the southern district of New York.

Officials said the individuals in the indictment are Andrew Michael Jones, 24, a Virginia resident; Gary Davis, 25, of Wicklow, Ireland; and Peter Phillip Nash, 40, of Brisbane, Australia.

Nash was arrested in Australia and Jones in Virginia, officials said. Davis is believed to be in Ireland, according to the Justice Department.

The news blog TechCrunch reported earlier Friday than one person was arrested in Ireland in connection with the investigation.

The three face charges of money laundering, drug trafficking and conspiracy for their alleged roles as moderators of Silk Road.

Officials in October arrested Ross William Ulbricht, who was said to be "Dread Pirate Roberts," the website's mastermind.

Ulbricht, who is awaiting trial in New York, has denied the charges and also claims he is not "Dread Pirate Roberts."

Last month, a message appeared on the social media site Reddit claiming Silk Road had reopened weeks after it was shut down by the FBI. The message was signed "Dread Pirate Roberts."

The message said Silk Road had implemented "a complete security overhaul" to keep the marketplace out of the reach of authorities.

The site is accessible only through online encryption offered via a service known as Tor.

Federal agents announced on October 2 they had shut down the website, which used privacy-protecting Tor and Bitcoin digital currency to shield the identities of buyers and sellers.

Authorities said that from about January 2011, Ulbricht ran a marketplace that hawked heroin, cocaine, LSD and methamphetamine, as well as hacker tools such as software for stealing passwords or logging keystrokes on people's machines.

Silk Road took in commissions ranging from eight to 15 percent of sales, raking in at least $80 million on more than $1.2 billion worth of transactions, the criminal complaint estimated.

Bharara said the investigation is ongoing. He said US officials have received cooperation from authorities in Ireland, Iceland, Australia and France.

Explore further: Pakistan cyber bill threatens free speech, privacy: rights groups

Related Stories

Dark Web bazaar Silk Road touts reopening

Nov 07, 2013

Silk Road, the online black market bazaar for drugs, hacker tools and other illicit goods, says it is back a month after the FBI took down the website.

Man pleads guilty to playing key drug site role

Nov 07, 2013

A Utah man has pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge for his role in an online black market known as the Silk Road that authorities say brokered more than $1 billion in transactions.

Recommended for you

Protecting our rights to privacy and digital dignity

2 hours ago

How many of us read the terms and conditions when signing up to a social media account or downloading a new app? And does agreeing to these rules offer us any real protection from big business looking to ...

Twitter expands privacy on direct messages

17 hours ago

Twitter said Monday it was making it easier to take direct messages private, carving out a bigger space for targeted exchanges on the popular microblogging service.

DOJ, FBI acknowledge flawed testimony from unit

Apr 19, 2015

The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in the FBI Laboratory's microscopic hair comparison unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.