Federal prosecutor: Californian who started 'Silk Road 2.0' drug-sale website arrested

Features Associated Press

Authorities in New York say a California man has been arrested for starting a spinoff version of the Silk Road website, enabling more than 100,000 people to buy and sell illegal drugs.

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Blake Benthall has been arrested in San Francisco. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (buh-RAH'-ruh) said Thursday that the 26-year-old is charged with conspiring to commit narcotics trafficking by starting the "Silk Road 2.0" website about five weeks after the government shut down the original version last year.

It was not immediately clear who will represent Benthall when he appears in court Thursday.

Authorities say the copycat version of Silk Road attracted about 150,000 active users since starting last December. They say it generates monthly sales of about $8 million.

The arrest was made Wednesday.