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Feds Charge ‘DoctorClu’ With Helping Run Silk Road 2.0

U.S. prosecutors have charged a Washington state man with helping run the successor website to Silk Road, the now-shuttered online black market bazaar where drugs, weapons and other illicit goods were peddled. The Silk Road 2.0 website emerged as a copycat site a month after Ross Ulbricht, the man accused of running the original Silk Road site, was arrested in October 2013. Following a yearlong investigation, officials on Saturday arrested Brian Richard Farrell, 26, of the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, who reportedly told federal agents he was a top assistant to the operator of Silk Road 2.0. Farrell used the moniker "DoctorClu" and was among a small staff of online administrators and forum moderators who helped with the day-to-day operation of the website, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle. Farrell was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. He made his initial appearance in court Tuesday and a magistrate appointed a public defender to represent him.

Officials say Farrell was a key assistant to Blake Benthall, the San Francisco man who went by "Defcon" and was charged in November with running Silk Road 2.0. Farrell told authorities he was "Defcon's right-hand man" and "mainly served as Defcon's spokesman," a government affidavit said.

Farrell's arrest came as a trial continued in New York federal court in the case of Ulbricht, the alleged operator of the original Silk Road, which authorities say he ran under the alias "Dread Pirate Roberts."

FBI shuts down largest illegal drug website 2:34

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— The Associated Press and Reuters