It was shut down with the arrest of Ross William Ulbricht, who authorities say masterminded the operation while hiding behind the alias of “Dread Pirate Roberts,” an apparent reference to a character in “The Princess Bride.” He has pleaded not guilty and remains incarcerated, awaiting trial.
Ulbricht was arrested in a branch of San Francisco’s public library, where authorities said he was chatting online with a cooperating witness.
James J. Hunt, acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York office, said the defendants were “hiding behind their computers” as they earned substantial profits by facilitating anonymous drug sales.
According to prosecutors, Faiella operated under the name “BTCKing” as he ran an underground Bitcoin exchange on the Silk Road website, where Bitcoins were the only form of payment accepted.