Penissmith Pleads Guilty to RICO Conspiracy

~3 min read | Published on 2020-01-30, tagged AlphabayGeneral-NewsModeratorPleaded-Guilty using 634 words.

Penissmith, a former moderator of Alphabay Market, pleaded guilty to conspiring to engage in a racketeer influenced corrupt organization. He settled more than 20,000 disputes as a moderator and received four Bitcoins every week in exchange for his services.
Bryan Connor Herrell, 25, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to engage in a racketeer influenced corrupt organization in connection with his role as a member of Alphabay’s “Scamwatch” team and later as a dispute moderator. Under the names “Penissmith” and “Botah," Herrell moderated more than 20,000 transactions between vendors and their customers, making him a party to more than 20,000 transactions on the marketplace in the eyes of a grand jury in December 2017. The United States Attorneys Office for the Eastern District of California unveiled the indictment in June 2019.

The ALPHABAY ORGANIZATION employed ’ ‘scam watchers" responsible for monitoring and quashing phishing attempts and other scams being carried out on the AlphaBay online platform.

From on or about August 2015 through on or about December 2015, defendant HERRELL served as a scam watcher, as described above, for which he was paid in Bitcoin. Defendant HERRELL used the moniker “PENISSMITH” to conduct this activity.

-- Penissmith Indictment
And from May 2016 through July 2017, Herrell acted as one of the primary dispute moderators on the marketplace, settling thousands of disputes. According to the indictment, the majority of the members of Alphabay staff worked as dispute moderators. Of the “6 - 8” individuals involved in Alphabay, five worked as moderators. Herrell, acting as Penissmith, Cooked and Botoh, worked alongside Raspi, Disc0, Russ0, and BigMuscles.
As a Moderator (as discussed above), HERRELL adjudicated disputes between buyers and vendors on AlphaBay. As a Moderator, Penissmith/Botah was paid four bitcoins per week for his assistance in administrating aspects of AlphaBay, had full visibility and awareness of the criminal activities conducted on the website, and in many instances directly facilitated these criminal activities through his moderation of disputes.

-- Penissmith Indictment

Herrell posing for his mugshot

Records seized from computers owned by alleged Alphabay administrator Alexandre Cazes provided investigators with information about the disputes settled by Penissmith. The indictment included the categories of the disputes involving Penissmith. The indictment only includes the data for 11,142 disputes instead of the complete 20,000 referenced by U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott in the recent announcement.
Prosecutors need to prove an enterprise displayed a “pattern of racketeering activity.” The law defines 35 offenses as racketeering activity, including terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering, wire fraud, and kidnapping. RICO charges require two predicate offenses. According to prosecutors, Alphabay met the predicate requirement under the following indictable offenses:

  • fraud in connection with identification documents
  • fraud in connection with access devices
  • money laundering
  • multiple offenses involving narcotics trafficking
  • drug trafficking, use of a communication facility, and conspiracy

  • Although RICO laws cover drug trafficking, large-scale drug trafficking organizations are usually usually prosecuted under the so-called “Kingpin Statute” (Continuing Criminal Enterprise Statute). The Kingpin Statute is effectively the narcotics equivalent to the RICO Act. The RICO Act, however, includes a wider range of crimes traditionally associated with racketeering as well as violations of the Controlled Substances Act. One major difference between the two laws is the sentencing guidelines. The Kingpin State penalty is a mandatory minimum of 20 years imprisonment with a maximum of life imprisonment. RICO comes with a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison. (For reference, Ross Ulbricht is serving two life sentences under the Kingpin Statute for his role as the owner of Silk Road.)

    On May 18, a judge will sentence Herrell to a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment.
    Herrell, as a part of the plea agreement, has agreed to forfeit

  • An assortment of counterfeit “Magic: The Gathering” and sports collectible cards;
  • Approximately $745.00 in U.S. Currency;
  • 139 gold coins, one ounce each;
  • 8 silver dollar coins, one ounce each;
  • One $1 ,000 bill encased in hard plastic;
  • One German August Schwer Cuckoo Clock

  • Comments (17)


    never thought penissmith would get caught. what even happened and how did they find him anyone? this guy was an expert in online fraud. whos next kamesenin? u would always talk big, whos the noob now, u clearly followed the supermarket meat guide


    do i get my money he extorted me by mail of??????????????


    The seizures just goes to show the government will take everything from you if you're caught. Looks like he tried to put all his earnings into Gold coins and other physical items like that clock. 139 Ounces of Gold is worth around $219,000


    PS was a long time asshole he had it coming. Kamesenin on the other hand was also a thief who was too high on drugs to even process his cashouts. He was onrehab when AB went down. So much for the so called experts.


    I got him I will get some of you as well good hunting


    get back in that cotton field girrrrlll


    Wow, including fentanyl with RCs to inflate the number. Nice fear mongering.


    pennissmith was an idiot, but alot of people thought he was smart which was so funny. Its sad to see him get 20 years. It seems like too much. I had his, Raspi and Alexandre's doxx since 2014. I've always wondered what I should've done with it. Does anyone here think I should've doxxed those three for money? Any opinions?


    dude they took away his MTG cards. hes fuckin grounded. but he made them say "penissmith" a bunch of times in court and im guessing thats why hes smiling



    Jim Beam2020-02-02

    He needs a shave, the scruffy cunt.


    The myth , The Legend, The Pennissmith .


    not all heros wear capes


    when is he being sentanced?


    It says right there in the fucking article - "On May 18" Can't you read you dumb motherfucker shit for brains. I miss flaming noobs on AB:(


    Hahah I remember this fucking guy. I dont spend much time on any market forums now, but I interacted with him plenty of times and he was always a huge douche. Funny dude though


    Penissmith lmfao