Penissmith Pleads Guilty to RICO Conspiracy

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.

United States vs. Penissmith

United States vs. Penissmith

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

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.)

Herrell faces a mximum sentence of 20 years in prison

Herrell faces a mximum sentence of 20 years in prison

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
Do you really want to comment here? not rules
cde13bb0 Thu, Jan 30, 2020

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

e98f6a30 Thu, Jan 30, 2020

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

214828f0 Thu, Jan 30, 2020

while u where out partying, he studied the blade

2843e7c0 Thu, Jan 30, 2020

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

0b311170 Thu, Jan 30, 2020

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.

1ed2b620 Fri, Jan 31, 2020

how did this faggot get caught tho?

5c41a3e0 Fri, Jan 31, 2020

I got him
I will get some of you as well

good hunting

e9e79550 Fri, Jan 31, 2020

get back in that cotton field girrrrlll

93bde380 Fri, Jan 31, 2020

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

7c4a1e00 Sat, Feb 1, 2020

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?

1f66b4b0 Sat, Feb 1, 2020

Empire is not just a market that sells drugs but at one point they sold weapons such as guns and even RPG rocketlaunchers, this is very serious in many countries, we are funding terrorists everytime we use the Empire Market, we need to avoid these terrorists at all costs, they are no better than Osama Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein, after the massacre that these guys should be held accountable for took place, each person needs to know how many lives have been ended by these gentlemen, and for what? This needs to be stopped #OpBayonetReloaded

1400f880 Sat, Feb 1, 2020

we are funding terrorists everytime we use the Empire Market

Good troll is good

f7671000 Sat, Feb 1, 2020

he looks so happy to be honest

83bbfd20 Sat, Feb 1, 2020

Im going to fucking blow a gov building up because Im sick of them thinking they can just shut down every fucking good thing that goes on.. I mean seriously they can take our choices away I will take away their lives.

31a173f0 Sun, Feb 2, 2020

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

3ec8c130 Sun, Feb 2, 2020


38138e90 Sun, Feb 2, 2020

He needs a shave, the scruffy cunt.

60f98e90 Mon, Feb 3, 2020

The myth , The Legend, The Pennissmith .

8ac0c3b0 Thu, Feb 6, 2020

not all heros wear capes

9d9c4080 Fri, Feb 7, 2020

when is he being sentanced?

15620b40 Sun, Feb 9, 2020

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:(

09ba2710 Sun, Feb 9, 2020

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

95935ac0 Wed, Mar 4, 2020

Penissmith lmfao

dec516e0 Mon, Mar 9, 2020


Yeah, same story here… I have never frequented the forums a lot (I still don’t), but ‘Penissmith’ is one of the few persons I remember. I his case, especially for being an asshole. But a tight, brown, funny asshole nonetheless.

Personally, I can’t really say that I am going to miss ‘Penissmith’ in my life, although I am of the opinion that even cynical motherfuckers like ‘Penissmith’ do not deserve those draconian sentences. I mean come on: even pedophiles don’t get sentences like some people involved in the DNM’s have gotten…

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