Colorado Man Sentenced To Prison For Moderating Disputes On Darknet’s AlphaBay

(Photo by Jenn Vargas/Creative Commons)

Bryan Connor Herrell, of Aurora, Colorado man was sentenced to 11 years in prison for his activity on the darknet’s AlphaBay marketplace.

The AlphaBay marketplace is an illegal website.

According to court documents, Herrell, age 26, was a moderator on the AlphaBay marketplace,.

On AlphaBay, vendors and purchasers engaged in hundreds of thousands of illicit transactions for guns, drugs, stolen identity information, credit card numbers and other illegal items.  At the time, AlphaBay was the world’s largest online drug marketplace.

As a moderator on AlphaBay, Herrell settled disputes between vendors and purchasers. He is also served as a scam watcher – providing a service dedicated to monitor attempts to defraud AlphaBay users.  Herrell went by the monikers “Penissmith” and “Botah” and was paid in Bitcoin for his participation.

On June 1, 2017, a Fresno grand jury indicted the alleged founder of AlphaBay, Alexandre Cazes.  On July 5, 2017, the Royal Thai Police, with assistance from the FBI and DEA, executed an arrest warrant for Alexandre Cazes at his residence in Bangkok, in connection with his alleged involvement with AlphaBay.  At the time of his arrest, law enforcement discovered Cazes’s laptop open and in an unencrypted state.  Agents and officers found several text files that identified the passwords/passkeys for the AlphaBay website, the AlphaBay servers, and other online identities associated with AlphaBay.  The indictment against Cazes was dismissed as a result of his death.  The investigation of AlphaBay and its former administrators continues.

About Staff Reporter 274 Articles
Huey Freeman, who has recently been serving as executive editor of Arizona Daily Independent, previously worked as a reporter for daily newspapers in Central Illinois. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and has been an adjunct professor at Millikin University and Eastern Illinois University. An author of two published books, he is working on two books on the southern border. Huey is married, with four adult children.