The second-highest administrator on Silk Road 2, the copycat site that followed the shuttered underground drug website Silk Road, was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison—the same term that government prosecutors asked the judge to impose. The sentencing came months after Brian Farrell, known online as "DoctorClu," pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Such crimes carry a minimum sentence of five years in prison.
Federal agents searched Farrell’s home on January 2, 2015 after they got information that he was closely involved in SR2. There, they "seized three handguns, various computer media, various prescription medications, drug paraphernalia, 20 silver bullion bars valued at $3,900.00, and approximately $35,000 in US currency." In addition to the prison sentence, the cash and silver bullion will be forfeited to the government.
In a 2015 press release, the Department of Justice said that SR2 had generated approximately $8 million per month since it began in November 2013. In the sentencing memorandum, prosecutors noted that this case exemplifies "general deterrence."
As Thomas Woods, an Assistant United States Attorney, wrote:
The Silk Road model presents a new threat to public safety and health. The website expands the serious drug market to all reaches of the country, and indeed the world. The website reaches those who are too apprehensive to conduct a deal on the street, or those, say in rural areas, who may not have a direct drug supplier. This new frontier is dangerous—and a clear message needs to be sent that those who peddle their poison on the internet—face serious penalties.
By Cyrus Fairvar - Ars Technica/June 3, 2016
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