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The FBI shut down a hard-to-find e-commerce site on the "Deep Web" called Silk Road. Feds say the site trafficked in drugs, guns, computer-hacking, money-laundering and even murder-for-hire.
The site operated for two and a half years as a "sprawling black-market bazaar." Attorneys arrested the website's owner for generating more than $1.2 billion in sales and $80 million in commissions by distributing "hundreds of kilograms of illegal drugs and other illicit goods and services" to more than 100,000 online buyers.
Silk Road has been called "the Amazon of illegal things."
The owner has a physics degree from the University of Texas and attended engineering graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania. He lived in San Francisco while running Silk Road and was charged with narcotics trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. From the time the site opened in 2011, Silk Road operated on an Internet network known as "Tor," which hides the IP addresses of its users' computers.
The FBI found 13,000 drug listings on Silk Road just last month, including cannibas, ecstasy, prescriptions, psychedelics and stimulants, and others for firearms, anonymous bank accounts and hit men.
Users paid with Bitcoins, which is an anonymous form of electronic currency. The FBI reportedly seized $3.6 million in Bitcoins after agents made 100 drug purchases through the website.
The FBI also accuses the owner of trying to get a murder-for-hire contract against a Silk Road user who tried to extort him. He'll be in court soon.