Last week, the Southern District of New York announced that a senior adviser to the "Silk Road" website pled guilty in Manhattan Federal Court. Roger Clark pled guilty to conspiring to distribute large quantities of narcotics, a charge that arose from his role as the senior adviser to the owner and operator of the online illicit black market. From 2011 to 2013, Silk Road, a secret online marketplace on the dark web for a host of criminal activity, was used by drug dealers and others to distribute illegal drugs to more than 100,000 buyers, and to launder hundreds of millions of dollars derived from those transactions. Clark, a Canadian citizen, was paid at least hundreds of thousands of dollars for his assistance in operating Silk Road. He pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The Eastern District of Virginia announced last week that a Richmond, Virginia, man pled guilty to distribution of drugs similar to fentanyl. Mark Faulkner, 36, advertised Adderall and fentanyl products on multiple dark web markets. He was identified through bitcoin exchange transactions and three purchases of drugs that were advertised as fentanyl. Faulkner pleaded guilty to distribution of a controlled substance analogue. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Earlier this week the Eastern District of California announced that a California-based dark web drug vendor had pleaded guilty. Eric Friccero, 29, pleaded guilty on Feb. 3 to possessing with intent to distribute a controlled substance. According to court documents, Friccero distributed marijuana to customers throughout the United States through dark web marketplaces. On Jan. 31, 2019, law enforcement officers searched Friccero's California residence and found marijuana that had been offered for sale on the dark web, along with bitcoin and cash.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona announced two arrests in connection with a cryptocurrency investment fund, Zima Digital Assets. John Michael Caruso and Zachary Salter were both arrested on Jan. 30 and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.

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