Darknet moderator of Alpha Bay sentenced to 11 years in jail.
'Criminals cannot hide behind technology to break the law,' a U.S. attorney stated.
One of the individuals involved in moderating content on the now-defunct AlphaBay darknet market will be in jail until 2031. Twenty-six-year-old Bryan Connor Herrell was sentenced to 11 years in prison. He conspired to engage in a racketeer-influenced corrupt organization. This was for his role as a moderator on AlphaBay. This was according to a Sept. 1 statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.
AlphaBay was one of the largest online marketplaces for drugs as well as guns. It also had credit card data and other illegal items paid for with cryptocurrency. U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott said that the sentence served as further proof that criminals cannot hide behind technology to break the law. Bryan went by usernames "Botah" and "Penissmith." He was paid in Bitcoin (BTC) to handle more than 20,000 disputes between vendors and buyers on AlphaBay. He was also a "scam watcher." He monitored the marketplace for attempts to defraud users.
The moderator was initially charged for his role with AlphaBay in June 2019. He pleaded guilty in January. In May, his sentencing was supposed to take place. But it was delayed until recently. This was presumably due to restrictions caused by the current pandemic. AlphaBay was one of the largest online black markets before U.S. authorities shut it down in July 2017. The site operated for almost three years and had more than 400,000 users at its demise.
The founder and operator of the site are Alexandre Cazes. He was indicted in the United States and taken into custody by the Royal Thai Police. This was because he resided in BanBut the time. But, Cazes was later found dead in his Thailand jail cell. He is suspected of having committed suicide.
People associated with the darknet marketplace continue to face prosecution. This is based on data recovered from Cazes' laptop and its servers seized in Canada. Two Costa Ricans were charged in August for selling $270 million worth of drugs on Silk Road and AlphaBay.
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