By Alex Emslie and Jon Brooks
Authorities say a 26-year-old who lives in San Francisco’s Mission District has been arrested for starting a spinoff version of the Silk Road website, enabling approximately 150,000 people to buy and sell illegal drugs and generating monthly sales of about $8 million.
Blake Benthall was mostly silent at a federal court hearing in San Francisco this morning, speaking only to waive his right to a hearing that would confirm his identity.
“My name is Blake Benthall, and I am 26 years old,” he said.
Federal prosecutor Katheryn Haun said the government would pursue detention. “He was found with over $100,000 cash in his home. He has a passport, and he engaged in fraudulent identification,” Haun said. “We believe he poses a severe flight risk.”
She said that Benthall had admitted to being the administrator of Silk Road 2.0 after receiving his Miranda rights.