Feds Shut Down “Silk Road” Drug, Gun Website and Arrest Its Mastermind


A federal bust this week involves millions of dollars, illicit drugs and a would-be assassin, all of which allegedly were bought and sold on the Internet in a shadowy online marketplace known as the Silk Road, NPR reports. On Tuesday, federal authorities shut down the site and arrested Ross Ulbricht, 29, the man they say is its mastermind. Ulbricht, a.k.a. “Dread Pirate Roberts,” reportedly was sloppy about covering his tracks, attaching his name, photo, and personal e-mail address to Silk Road business. That is how federal authorities tracked him down and arrested him. Silk Road existed away from the World Wide Web on the encrypted Tor network in the “hidden” web that’s only reachable by using anonymizing software. Silk Road was the largest online marketplace for illicit stuff, where everything from fake ID’s to guns and drugs was available. “It’s kinda earned the reputation as the eBay of drugs. I think for a lot of people that’s shocking that with a few clicks you could have heroin sent to your door,” says Brian Krebs, former reporter for The Washington Post.

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