AlphaBay Darknet Market Moderator Sentenced to Imprisonment for 11 years
September 2, 2020 10:33 am
For the AlphaBay darknet market content moderating, One of the liable men will be in jail 11 years, until 2031. And on this, a US attorney said, ‘Criminals cannot hide behind technology to break the law.’
A statement from the U.S. Department of Justice on September 1 affirms that 26-year-old Bryan Connor Herrell was sentenced to 11 years in prison for conspiring in a racketeer-influenced corrupt organization, for his role as a moderator on AlphaBay. The platform was one of the largest online marketplaces for drugs as well as guns, credit card data, and other illegal items, paid for with cryptocurrency.
“This sentence works as additional proof that criminals cannot hide behind technology to break the law,” said U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott.
“Operating behind the veil of the darknet may seem to offer shelter from criminal investigations, but people should think twice before ordering or selling drugs online — you will be caught.”
Herrell — who went by usernames “Penissmith” and “Botah” — was paid in Bitcoin (BTC) to handle more than 20,000 disputes between vendors and buyers on AlphaBay. He also acted as a “scam watcher” watching the marketplace for attempts to defraud users.
In June 2019, in the Eastern District of California before pleading guilty in January, the moderator was originally charged for his role with AlphaBay and his sentencing was scheduled to take place in May, but was postponed due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
AlphaBay was one of the largest online black markets along with Silk Road before it was shut off by U.S. authorities in July 2017. The site operated for almost three years and at the time of its decease had more than 400,000 users.
Alexandre Cazes, the founder and operator of the site, was charged in the United States and arrested by the Royal Thai Police, as he resided in Bangkok at the time. Though, Cazes was later spotted dead in his Thailand jail cell, suspected of committing suicide.
Individuals connected with the darknet marketplace continue to face prosecution based on data retrieved from Cazes’ laptop and the company’s servers, which were seized in Canada. Two Costa Rican residents were charged for selling $270 million worth of drugs on Silk Road and AlphaBay in August.