An Alphabay moderator who was held responsible for moderating the content on the now-defunct darknet market, AlphaBay has been sentenced imprisonment until 2031.
As per the statement released by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on the 1st of September 2020, the Alphabay moderator Bryan Connor Herrell (26 years of age) was sentenced to 11 years (132 months) of jail on account of the conspiracy to engage in a corrupt organization influenced by racketeer for the role he played as an Alphabay moderator. AlphaBay market happened to be one of the largest darknet marketplaces selling credit card data, guns and other illicit items against payment with cryptocurrency.
“This sentence serves as further proof that criminals cannot hide behind technology to break the law,” said U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott.
“Operating behind the veil of the darknet may seem to offer shelter from criminal investigations, but people should think twice before ordering or selling drugs online — you will be caught.”
The Alphabay moderator used the usernames or pseudonyms “Botah” and “Penissmith” on the AlphaBay dark web market and accepted Bitcoin (BTC) payments for handling over 20,000 disputes between the buyers and vendors on the AlphaBay. He had also performed as a “scam watcher” and monitored the marketplace where the users attempt to scam each other.
The Alphabay moderator was charged for his alleged role with the AlphaBay Market back in June 2019, where he pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of California in January. His sentencing was supposed to take place in May but was delayed probably due to current pandemic restrictions.
Silk Road and Alphabay black markets were the largest darknet markets before the U.S. authorities took them down in July 2017. The latter website operated for nearly three years and possessed over 400,000 users at the time of its death.
The operator and founder of the AlphaBay market, Alexandre Cazes who was arrested in the U.S. and the Royal Thai Police had taken into custody, as he was a Bangkok resident at that time. Nevertheless, Cazes was later found dead in the Thai jail cell and suspected of committing suicide.
The individuals who were associated with the AlphaBay darknet marketplace still faces prosecution depending on the data that were recovered from the laptop of Cazes along with the company servers seized in Canada. Back in August, two of the Costa Rican residents had been charged for selling drugs having worth $270 million on both Silk Road and AlphaBay market.
Here is the press release announced by DOJ on the 1st of September, 2020:
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