A United States judge sentenced Bryan Connor Herrell—a former moderator of the Alphabay darkweb marketplace—to 11 years in prison.
U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott for the Eastern District of California that United States District Court Judge Dale A. Drozd had sentenced Bryan Herrell to 11 years in federal prison. Earlier this year, Herrell pleaded guilty to conspiring to engage in a racketeer influenced corrupt organization. He admitted settling disputes between vendors and customers under the usernames “Penissmith” and “Botah.” Under those monickers, Herrell settled more than 20,000 disputes. He also admitted helping eliminate scams on Alphabay.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Rabbitt:
“This sentence of an AlphaBay employee demonstrates the collective efforts of law enforcement authorities in the United States and Europe to find and prosecute transnational criminal actors wherever they hide. The department will continue to work tirelessly to hold accountable criminals who use the Dark Web to facilitate illegal activity no matter where they may be located.”
U.S. Attorney Scott:
“This sentence serves as further proof that criminals cannot hide behind technology to break the law. 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. This office will continue using all means available to pursue darknet-based crimes, particularly those involving fentanyl, opioids, and other dangerous drugs.”
Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan of the FBI’s Sacramento Field Office:
“The FBI is committed to developing highly trained cyber investigators who work with our international partners and perpetually evolve to counter the threat darknet criminals pose. Cases like these exemplify how the FBI and our international partners are eliminating the false promise of anonymity dark marketplaces claim to provide and are successfully dismantling criminal organizations that prey upon communities through the use of sophisticated computer code. Herrell’s sentence sends a clear message to criminals that the darknet is no safe haven for illegal transactions.”
When law enforcement raided the house of the alleged Alphabay administrator, they seized an open and unencrypted laptop. Investigators located “several text files that identified the passwords/passkeys for the AlphaBay website, the AlphaBay servers, and other online identities associated with AlphaBay.” The investigation of Alphabay and the market’s former staff is ongoing, the US Attorney’s Office said in a press release.
Herrell Guilty Plea: pdf
Herrell’s mugshot was used by this site in the past