Feds Shut Down AlphaBay; Sessions Warns Criminals "You Cannot Hide" On Dark Web

Tyler Durden's picture

More than three years after the FBI shut down the Silk Road, the pioneering dark-web marketplace for drugs and illegal goods, the FBI and DEA – working with international law-enforcement agencies - have busted two more dark-web marketplaces that facilitated the sales of illicit items like drugs, weapons and stolen data, according to the Department of Justice.

AlphaBay and Hansa, two of the largest illegal marketplaces on the dark web, have been shut down and their operators arrested during a collaboration between US and European police agencies, according to the BBC. Investigations were led by the FBI and DEA in partnership with Europol.

The takedown has severely disrupted criminal enterprises around the world, has led to the arrest of key figures involved in online criminal activity, and yielded huge amounts of intelligence that will lead to further investigations, according to a Europol press release.

US authorities became interested in the site after several fatalities, including the deaths of two 13-year-old boys in Park City, Utah, who overdosed on a powerful synthetic opioid known as “pinky,” were linked to AlphaBay, according to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

"One victim was just 18 years old when in February she overdosed on a powerful synthetic opioid which she had bought on AlphaBay,” Sessions said, before warning criminals that “you cannot hide” from the DOJ. “We will find you," he said.

The takedown was part of a larger international effort to take down dark web sites, according to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

AlphaBay has been offline since early July, fueling suspicions among users that a law enforcement crackdown had taken place. Previously, the site had as many as 40,000 vendors and 200,000 members, according to figures from Europol ad the DOJ. Canadian Alexandre Cazes, a 26-year-old alleged administrator at Alpha Bay, was arrested in Thailand on July 5, allowing authorities to begin seizing assets belonging to him and his wife. Police also seized three properties, four Lamborghinis, and millions of dollars’ worth of bitcoin, which they said represented the proceeds from the site’s illegal activities.

According to DOJ, Cazes, known as Alpha02 and Admin on the site, was charged with one count of conspiracy to engage in racketeering, one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, six counts of distribution of narcotics, one count of conspiracy to commit identity theft, four counts of unlawful transfer of false identification documents, one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud, one count of trafficking in device making equipment, and one count of money laundering conspiracy.

Cazes was later found dead in a Bangkok jail cell. A year ago, Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison without parole for his role in operating the Silk Road.
Police in other countries, including the UK, France and Lithuania, also contributed to the investigation.

The Dutch National Police took over the Hansa marketplace on 20 June after servers in the Netherlands, Germany and Lithuania were seized, according to the BBC.

This allowed for "the covert monitoring of criminal activities on the platform" until it was eventually shut down a month later.

Sessions applauded the DOJ’s work on the investigation and warned criminals that there’s “no place to hide” from law enforcement, even on the dark web, according to a DOJ press release.

This is likely one of the most important criminal investigations of the year – taking down the largest dark net marketplace in history,” Sessions said. “Make no mistake, the forces of law and justice face a new challenge from the criminals and transnational criminal organizations who think they can commit their crimes with impunity using the dark net.  The dark net is not a place to hide. The Department will continue to find, arrest, prosecute, convict, and incarcerate criminals, drug traffickers and their enablers wherever they are.”

Organized crime poses a “serious threat to our national and economic security,” said acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

“Whether they operate in broad daylight or on the dark net, we will never stop working to find and stop these criminal syndicates.  We want to thank our international partners and those at the Department of Justice, the DEA and the IRS-CI for their hard work in demonstrating what we can do when we stand together.”

Europol Executive Director Rob Wainwright said the operation was "massively successful."

"Concerted action by law enforcement authorities in the United States and Europe, with the support of Europol, has delivered a massive blow to the underground criminal economy and sends a clear message that the dark web is not a safe area for criminals. I pay tribute to the excellent work of the United States and European authorities for the imaginative and resourceful way they combined their efforts in this case.”

While Sessions & Co. were taking questions, one reporter asked Sessions if he’d like to comment on rumors that he might resign, sparked by disparaging comments made about Sessions by President Donald Trump in an interview with the New York Times. Sessions said he plans to stay on at DOJ “as long as that is appropriate.”

Following its creation in December 2014, AlphaBay emerged as an heir to the Silk Road, according to the Wall Street Journal. Both sites were accessible via Tor, a network that takes steps to preserve the anonymity of its users.

While the Silk Road’s primary focus was drug sales, AlphaBay was more diverse, selling stolen credit-card numbers, drugs, online-fraud tutorials and guns, Andrei Barysevich, a director at Recorded Future Inc., which sells data about online threats and the Dark Web, told WSJ.

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loveyajimbo's picture

Nice job, Sessions... now...

WHY THE FUCK have you not indicted Hillary for her PROVEN felonies?????

Anteater's picture

...Cazes was later found dead in a Bangkok jail cell...

And his 'millions of dollars in bitcoin' was quietly

repatriated by the 'Japanese monk', lol.

hutnela's picture

Im about to philosophize....  No morals can be legislated, because morals dont come by the orders of men in suits, but by the nature of a person. So no law could ever be made that would solve our crime problem, and in fact laws do the exact opposite by criminalizing nearly everything. This is where government gets left responsible for all the evil in the world, not the common man, because they demand you acknowledge their idea of morality or they will kill you, or take your freedom of movement. Just because they tell you they're protecting you, doesn't mean they are. Its time we stop acknowledging these pricks as "RULERS" and start seeing them as just men/women trying to steal, manipulate, and control us. They can only be rulers as long as we LET them.

0x445442's picture

"You can't hide from the DOJ"... Unless you are Seth Rich's killer or your initials are HRC.

Anteater's picture

“Whether they operate in broad daylight or on the dark net,

we will never stop working to find and stop these criminal syndicates."

Unless their syndicate name is Clinton-Rodham, or Trump-Kushner, lol.

Then you get a special pass. You even get a parade-route police escort!!



Blue Team. The Right Stuff. Above the Law because they own the Law.

are we there yet's picture

If only they would catch that Nigerian Prince and his Nigerian friends, it would be a good day. Even better if they caught Hillary doing what Hillary does.


So Hansan was shut down on June 20, that was the same day as the ETH crash on coinbase/gdax, does anyone think there’s a correlation? 

Herdee's picture

Not that hard to do when you have other Agencies at your disposal such as the NSA. That's very easy information available to Law Enforcement.

In.Sip.ient's picture

"you can not hide"...


Problem is, they may not be trying to hide.

Problem is, you may be horning in on their turf.

Problem is, that in cyberspace you ain't the law... nobody is...


Problem starts when the retaliation starts...


pcrs's picture

Dutch police runs darkweb online drugs market for a month. Claims "This will teach them, they cant trust anyone" (talking about their own trustability)


hutnela's picture

As long as we allow the government to keep rule, they will do whats in THEIR best interest.... not ours. We cant expect the elite to go after the elite, but we can expect them to go after Mr. and Mrs. John Q Public..... even if its just for the thrill. Sad as it is, we, the common people of the country, are on our own. These are blood games for them now.

In.Sip.ient's picture

You could be right.


But, this is never a one way street.

Which is what bothers me.


Nobody has a monopoly on "blood sports"  !!!


Rick Cerone's picture

Yet the Bush/Mizel mafia appears to run its criminal enterprise out of Texas and Colorado unmolested? I suppose enforcement is based on the level of threat against the enforcers?

Anteater's picture

Colorado Springs, and the mountain-top deep-underground bunkers it contains,

is ground zero for Deep State and the real Western White House of Dick Cheney.

Rick Cerone's picture

Don't forget about the artwork at the airport. Little German boy is going to pound swords into plow shares. LOL!

Kreditanstalt's picture

Government hates any kind of free market and reacts with savagery against them

Gohigher's picture

Indicting Hillary is the product of the most important criminal investigation of the year ,” Sessions said. “Make no mistake, the criminals and transnational criminal organizations who think they can commit their crimes with impunity under the color of Government are going to be prosecuted.  I will be appointing many special investigators to go after the cultural marxists and seditious judges next week. No further comments or questions...........


Rick Cerone's picture

The pedophiles in Congress are in DC, Jeff.

King of Ruperts Land's picture

If you are an American Citizen, then it is your patriotic duty to apply for work at the DOJ. With enough people writing like that, it will happen.

Actually think of all government and all the paperwork, law, policy and regulation. It just needs lots of editors fixing it up.

New laws are easy to write:

A is repealed.
B is repealed.
C is repealed.
D is repealed.

Where A B C D are just lists of current laws.

moorewasthebestbond's picture

Fuck Sessions and his *straight-up treasonous* support of the 46 year old War on Drugs.

King of Ruperts Land's picture

FYI: This would have been in the pipe for 3+ years. This is Sessions shutting down Obamma's poison selling sting mart.

samsara's picture

But they still have no interest in Seth Rich or Klaus Eberwein’s deaths


No pedophile rings broken...  But seize our assets...    Doing a great job Jeffy

Iconoclast421's picture

Pizza maps and dominos on pasta: OK.


Dark interwebs: Not OK.

Dg4884's picture

But they still can't prosecute Killary.  I really hate our masters.

Dickweed Wang's picture

It's funny how the country with the lowest overdose rate in the world is the ONLY country where ALL drugs have been either totally legalized or decriminalized - Portugal.  When these stupid drug laws force people with drug problems to buy shit sight unseen from an anonymous source on the dark web you will get people overdosing on stuff that they have no idea what they are really taking.  But hey, if drugs were legalized in the USA then how would the prison/industrial complex or the law enforcement agencies such as the DEA exist??

Anteater's picture

Actually, the USA has the highest drug use rate, and Africa has the lowest.

That just makes you want to bust out laughing!! The richest country on the

face of the Earth, and now the most bankrupted in all human history, is the

biggest doper, while the Africans, at the very bottom, are the most sober.

So here, put this in your pipe and smoke it. When the Big Reset hits, and

we are all collectively in the same boat as the African slaves once were, will

America instantly drop to the cleanest nation on Earth, or will this become

Doper Central, rampaging druggies pulling the elderly out of their houses??

Because the Reset will hit, by design, before Trump leaves office in 2020.

Global Douche's picture

The snowflakes may have some say into that.

veritas semper vinces's picture

When the SHTF the biggest problem here,in US ,will not be lack of food ,but the abrupt cut off of drug supply. &0% Americans are on one form of drugs. and the most dangerous are by far: prescription narcotics,SSRI and antipsychotic medications.You can not stop cold taking them ,the side effects of this is very dangerous. Arm yourself to protect you from the zombies who will kill for their drugs.

Moving and Grooving's picture

On another note, there are people taking non-narcotic meds routinely for decades, ones that allow them to breathe or have better hearts, etc. They would be profoundly in trouble without them in some cases, and many would live shorter lives. But they wouldn't become your zombies, I don't think.

FoggyWorld's picture


But Sessions can hide out in his office and continue to ignore the Clintonistas.

He really has to go.




Rick Cerone's picture

You make a good Nazi, Jeff.

gigadeath's picture

The solution? End the drug war.

LOL123's picture

It's ok to smoke pot... They can control that....

redmudhooch's picture

If Jeff Sessions sees your comment you're going to jail and govt. will be stealing all your belongings.

Global Douche's picture

Especially if 1) you have crypto 2) reentering the USA, and 3) don't declare what's really none of their business in the first place.

These fuckheads in the Senate may try and shoehorn S 1241. If you are American and have crypto, call, whine, bitch and moan at your Congre$$ Critters there. 202-225-3121. I did! 

Montana Cowboy's picture

I just checked. Alpha Bay and Hansa markets now display government logos - as if they planted their flag of victory. Well, the sellers have moved over to the Dream Market and every product remains 100% available. And if there is a problem with Dream Market someday, they will move to one of over 100 other market places.

The war on drugs is such a joke. Its just Wack-a-Mole.

LOL123's picture

Wack-a- mole good one.... Pun intended.

z530's picture

There's really nothing right now to compare to Alphabay. Only the hardcore addicts are going to Dream, everyone else on the DNMs are scared as fuck and burning everything. I've heard Dream's security is garbage and it wouldn't be surprising to find out it's owned as well.

Something will pop up to take it's place but I wouldn't touch the Tor network for illiict activity now if you paid me. I would move on over to i2p and be done with Tor.

Anteater's picture

Right after I posted a comment here, I went to the kitchen to get

a cup of coffee. Two white vans, "SFS Exterminators" pulled up

just across the street, parking in a fire-hydrant no parking zone.

I live on a dead-end cul-de-sac. All of my neighbors are at work

right now. I switched to a Tor-routed server. They sat in the vans

playing with some kind of electronics. One got out with long zip

strips in their hand. What do you need zip strips for with bugs?!

They're still there, trying to target the old unprotected server, lol.

If they can find Pirate Bay and Alpha Bay, they can also find you.

daveO's picture

Daytime burglars/WiFi hackers would be my guess. They are tracking people via their phones and, possibly, their car's OnStar. Get rid of your WiFi and stop carrying your phone. I had to take the WiFi card out of my laptop also. Otherwise, "it" kept turning itself back on.

DCFusor's picture

A count of trafficking in "device making equipment"?  Would that be like the de-vices in Frank Zappa, or just plain tools?

Is this really the war on creating things?

Moving and Grooving's picture

Yeah, noticed that too. Device making equipment. So it isn't printing or painting equip, it's for making devices. In this context, devices can be anything. And making implies other equipment, tools if you will. 


So they aren't targeting the 'Device'; they're after the 'Device Making Equipment' in this case. Huh.

el buitre's picture

As long as our thank you for your service "heroes" keep guarding the poppy fields in Afghanistan.  Then they come home, get addicted from their psychological trauma in foreign countries, and commit suicide.  A complete circle.  The cognitive dissonance of the Deep State gives me a pain between the ears.

LOL123's picture

It's nice that the international cooperation of law enforcement caught a single private ( token) citizen but like many I want the heads of public syndicates like Hillary on a stick... Too much and too long. Small fish are nice to fry but big ones can feed a village....

redmudhooch's picture

Want to Drain the Swamp? Mueller must be fired first, since he is complicit in the crime. Heres the guy to do it:

House Intel Committee Should Speak With NSA Whistleblower Montgomery

sheikurbootie's picture


Does anyone notice the payment..... BITCOIN  the price is in dollar, but the payment is in BITCOIN



BetterRalph's picture

I disagree Sessions, you CAN Hide Tor | Signal | Tor

Father ¢hristmas's picture

Even Donald now regrets hiring Sessions.

Can't even get high safely in this new world order.

Oh well, dream market it is, then.

Central Ohio's picture

Recently sat on a jury with drug related charges.  Made me rethink the legalization idea.  Still haven't made up my mind for legalization, but I can see the strength of the argument.

Just from a time/money standpoint, is the ROI for keeping drugs illegal valid?  Anybody have some stats or sources?  What would it cost to have rehab only, including opportunity costs?  

From a social standpoint, what would it lead too?