It appears the Federal Bureau of Investigation has finally cracked down on Silk Road, the underground marketplace where users could buy cocaine, heroin, meth, and more using the virtual currency Bitcoin. Journalist Brian Krebs has just published a purported copy of a complaint filed in the Southern District of New York against Ross Ulbricht, who is alleged to be the mastermind behind the site and the handle Dread Pirate Roberts.
Ulbricht is being charged with narcotics trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy. The site, which is only accessible through the anonymizing Tor network, has been pulled and replaced with an FBI notice. The Silk Road forums are still operating, suggesting they were hosted on a different server.
The complaint is based on statements made by Christopher Tarbell, an FBI agent who has been tracking Silk Road out of the cybercrime division in New York. Tarbell acknowledges "undercover activity" by himself and other law enforcement agents, something users have suspected for a long time. Law enforcement officers have made more than 100 purchases on the site since November of 2011, according to the complaint, and had the drugs shipped to New York for analysis.