6 Arrested in Dark Web Drug Ring Bust

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Officer Arresting a Man
Federal agencies tracked down and arrested six people indulging in illegal drug businesses on the now-defunct darknet markets AlphaBay and Silk Road.

When the federal agencies and Department of Justice in the U.S. swooped down on dark web markets like AlphaBay, few in the trade would have thought that investigators would be in a position to reach the individuals active on trading platforms.

But their hopes were dashed when the law enforcement authorities arrested six people directly or indirectly involved in selling prohibited drugs on the dark web.

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And now, those six individuals will stand trial.

The whole saga of investigators constructing the case piece-by-piece and then connecting the dots to pin down these six dark web users from California makes for some interesting reading.

And many are following the story to find out what happens next.

The Servers Were Cracked to Obtain Data

A lot has already been written on the way the agencies shut down the two popular dark web markets AlphaBay and Silk Road.

They managed to take possession of some of the servers from these dark web sites.

The agencies also succeeded in decoding or un encrypting the data available on these servers.

The figures cited were quite staggering, to say the least.

When AlphaBay was shut down earlier this year, it was disclosed that there were 200,000 registered members dealing with hundreds of thousands of illegal items.

These included stolen identities and illicit drugs, among other prohibited items.

The Silk Road had lesser numbers, in the thousands. But nevertheless, the offenses they committed in the eyes of the law were indeed serious.

Hard Evidence Collected and Nexus Established

One of the most difficult tasks for any crime-busting team is to establish that a crime has even been committed, and then what is even more difficult is to directly connect the suspect or suspects to the crime.

In the absence of such an iron clad case, the defense attorneys will tear the prosecution apart.

The criminals, like with this present case, possess the resources to retain the best defense attorneys as well.

Knowing this, the investigators in this case first zeroed in on one William James Farber, and traced him to the AlphaBay account, HumboldtFarms.

They then laid the trap—first tracking the courier to know where the ordered drugs were being shipped from.

To confirm the involvement of Farber, they used GPS tracking to catch him red-handed in the warehouse he was using as a base for his illegal drug business.

Farber and HumboldtFarms appear to have been operating on the Silk Road as well.

This dark web site was closed down in 2013. On the Silk Road, the name of the business was PureFireMeds.

Money Laundering Charges

flag of the Department of Homeland Security
Homeland Security investigators used a decoy account to order the drug

The Homeland Security investigators, along with local police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, found that Farber and his five accomplices were using the money earned through these illegitimate transactions on the dark web to deal in marijuana, which is legally permitted in the state of California.

They used a decoy account to order the drug themselves and used it to further track down the connections.

Bryan Anthony Lemons stands as the other co-accused along with Farber as the main culprits.

For assisting them, Richard Thomas Martinsen, Faysal Mustafa Alkhayat, Michael Angelo Palma and Michele Pickerell have also been taken into custody.

Reports indicate that the operation earned them financial gains in crypto currencies, mainly Bitcoin, which roughly convert to $7 million.

And they kept the details from the government, which amounts to a federal crime.

These accusations are in addition to the basic criminal activity of drug-peddling they indulged in.

What Comes Next?

If the prosecution is able to prove the case and the court agrees with the charges, the six arrested could be put in prison for 40 years.

They may also be asked to pay a fine to the state of $25 million.

These are the maximum punishments spelt out in the law, and it is to be seen how the case is conducted when it reaches the court.

The very arrest of these six persons should send the right kind of signals to people who are still using the dark web to trade in illegal material, whether it’s drugs, stolen goods, weapons or any other.

The long arm of the law will definitely reach them sooner rather than later.

It may also pave the way for more law enforcement crackdowns in the future.

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The articles and content found on Dark Web News are for general information purposes only and are not intended to solicit illegal activity or constitute legal advice. Using drugs is harmful to your health and can cause serious problems including death and imprisonment, and any treatment should not be undertaken without medical supervision.


  1. Anonymous

    OMG Shut the fuck up you pigs! You arrested and charged 5 people selling weed in California where its legal and you think thats going to send a message to people not to sell illegal items on the Dark Net Markets?! LMFAO!! Someone else will just take their place. So lets see what you law enforcement pieces of shit have accomplished and yes Im talking to you FBI,DEA,HLS, and USPIS. You took down Silk Road 4 years ago and found out that the whole time the site was being run by basically a kid that out smarted you for awhile and then when you shut SR down how many was it 4 or 5 fbi and dea agents were caught and charged with stealing Ross Ulbricht’s bitcoins and pocketing them for themselves lol. Then what just last year they found out another 1 or 2 fbi or dea agents that tried to steal his bitcoins and get away with it and like the others they too were charged and sentenced. So you took down Silk Road, got a kid sentenced to life in prison and lost 5-7 of your men “that are supposed to be the good guys”.lol Then you took down playpen but you did it illegally so pretty much everyone you charged got off scott free. Now that ones not funny those bastards that do and look at that shit need to get the death penalty because they always eventually get bored with watching and go out and do horrible,terrible,disgusting things to children. So I really was rooting for you on that one but you fucked that up too. Back to Silk Road, the other big fuck up. You shut it down and then before you could even call it a victory tons of darknet markets starting popping up everywhere including Alpha Bay which grew to be so much bigger than Silk Road along with other DNM sites but Alpha Bay was the biggest. So basically you took down Silk Road and lost around 7 of your men/agents and im sure friends too to their own greed and for what another market that popped right up and in no time was 10 times bigger than silk road ever was. Finally were here to the present, you took down Alpha Bay and Hansa without losing any agents to greed, at least not yet. So now a new market will pop up and end up being bigger then Alpha Bay. You government agencies just never learn do ya? YOU WILL NEVER WIN THE WAR ON DRUGS! Its impossible! Drug dealers dont sell drugs, drugs sell themselves and their will always be a demand therefore there will always be a supply. Theres only one way ONLY ONE but it wont happen for another 200, 300 maybe even 500 more years. YOU MAKE ALL DRUGS LEGAL! You set up facilities all over the country and all over the states basically just like weed dispensaries but instead their guarded with police inside and out and you have to walk through a metal detector before the final door is open and you go up to the counter and tell the person working behind the counter what you want for an example lets say this person wanted 1 gram of heroin and a gram of cocaine. The person working behind the counter would have to unlock and open a big metal door,shut it and lock it and the guy waits at the counter while AT LEAST 2 police with vests and armed with assault rifles stay in the room with the customer while the person in back is putting on gloves and a face mask and goes to the bin that has the heroin weighs out a gram bags it and puts the bin back then goes to the cocaine bin and takes it out and weighs out a gram bags it and puts the cocaine bin back where it goes and of course all of this is on camera. Then she unlocks and unbolts the door comes out and re locks and bolts the door, rings up the customers order with tax and tells him/her the total and he pays with either cash or bitcoin or any kind of cryptocurrency and there you go. I just gave you the answer to stop the opioid epidemic and get rid of drug dealers because people who use heroin would be getting 100% government grade heroin instead a bag from a dealer thats cut with fentanyl. So all these overdose deaths would stop, their would be no more mexican drug cartels because thats how they get all their money by selling drugs,so the crime rate and violence rate and murder rate would all plummet, since all the drugs would be getting taxed our country would get out of debt within 5-10 years guaranteed, their would be millions of new jobs through out the whole country in every single state for people to work behind the counters of all these facilities and lots of jobs for law enforcement agencies to have guards inside and outside the facilities and just because drugs would be legal in no way shape or form would they be advertised or encourage people to use drugs. It would be the opposite. Parents and schools would still tell children about the dangers or drugs and what certain drugs do to your body. Also every time someone went into one of those facilities they would be told of the dangers of the drug their buying and would also give out pamphlets for people who asks for help and want to stop using, just like we do now. The only difference is the government would control the drugs not dealers and not cartels so their wouldnt be any dangerous chemicals used to “cut the drugs. Like I said it would all be 100% government grade whatever the drug maybe. Doing that solves so many problems in this country and for the people saying drug use would skyrocket, your wrong. The only people that would be going to these facilities to get these drugs would be people who are already on drugs. It wouldnt make people think “hey drugs are legal now lets go get some heroin and cocaine” because they would have been doing it before they became legal and the small portion that might think about trying a hardcore drug like heroin or cocaine would remember what this country went through and how many people died from those drugs. So instead of letting drug dealers and cartels have all the power with drugs and put whatever they want in them to make more money the government should step in and take control and all the power and money from the dealers and cartels. Thats the only way this country can win the war on drugs. Theres no other way.


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