Silk Road arrests: Four held in UK after drugs site swoop
Arrests in UK and US confirm that capture of drug bazaar's alleged owner will have repercussions
FOUR men believed to be "significant users" of the Silk Road narcotics website have been arrested in the UK, the Daily Telegraph reports. The arrests follow the capture by the FBI of the site's alleged founder Ross Ulbricht, 29, in San Francisco last week.
Users of the underground site, which traded hard drugs including cocaine, heroin and ecstasy, had feared the arrest of Ulbricht and the closure of the site would lead to a spate of arrests. Now it seems those fears are justified following the four arrests in the UK and the arrest of an American man accused of being "one of the most active and sought-after drug dealers" on the site.
Steven Sadler, 40, who hid his profile on Silk Road using the pseudonym 'NOD' was arrested in Bellevue, Washington state earlier this month. It is alleged that he was "one of the top one per cent" of dealers on the site. He is accused of providing high-quality cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine in small, individual-use amounts to hundreds of buyers around the world.
The men arrested in the UK are being investigated by the newly-formed National Crime Agency. One man in his early 50s was held in Devon and three others in their early 20s were arrested in Manchester on suspicion of supplying controlled drugs, the Telegraph says.
The paper adds that more British suspects with alleged connections to Silk Road are likely to be detained in the coming weeks.
The NCA's director general, Keith Bristow said: "These arrests send a clear message to criminals, the hidden internet isn't hidden and your anonymous activity isn't anonymous. We know where you are, what you are doing and we will catch you."
Bristow said it was "impossible" for criminals to completely erase their digital footprint regardless of how technologically savvy they are. "They will always make mistakes and this brings law enforcement closer to them," he said. ·