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

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.


Exponere Mendaces Thu, 07/20/2017 - 11:58 Permalink

Tor is likely to be completely compromised due to traffic pattern analysis at exit nodes. This isn't surprising. Also it seems this "boss" of Alphabay had the same operational security as "Silk Road", namely, mostly none.If you're going to flaunt the authorities, at least try to have your ducks in a row.But of course, he was caught and spilled the beans. (Then "retired* in a jail cell.)

HenryKissinger… (not verified) BaBaBouy Thu, 07/20/2017 - 12:07 Permalink

"the DoJ and Europol both readily acknowledge that new services will simply pop up to replace them. After all, the closure of previous dark web marketplace Silk Road in 2013 was eventually followed with AlphaBay - bigger, more lucrative and, by the looks of it, more dangerous... What authorities really want to do is start putting significant numbers of people behind bars"  they just HATE freedom hu?

In reply to by BaBaBouy

HenryKissinger… (not verified) The Juggernaut Thu, 07/20/2017 - 12:52 Permalink

can someone please make cryptowallets or just ESCROWS that IF or AFTER any governments murders or cages me then the wallet or cryptocontracts self distributes away from government hands? like to a list of pre selected freedom foundations wallets and such?something like that funny BipCot license?

In reply to by The Juggernaut

AVmaster (not verified) Gaius Frakkin'… Thu, 07/20/2017 - 14:22 Permalink

lol at the people that think that these guys got busted because they weren't being "secure"... Non-sense, they got busted cause they operated in countries like fuckin canada, were you don't mess with the bigboys slice of the pie like the .gov taxman and the banksters... If you are gonna operate a illecit website, operate it in a country that isn't gonna arrest you and doesn't give a fuck, like somewhere in africa for example... Networking Security 101: Any device or computer connected to the internet is considered Unsecure... My so called professor drumed this into our heads day after day, and he's right....

In reply to by Gaius Frakkin'…

historian40 AVmaster (not verified) Thu, 07/20/2017 - 14:33 Permalink

"...like somewhere in africa for example..."    Yeah, preferably near one of the plethora of drone launching sites....   They would probably need to choose a country that at least has a military to deter the US simply blowing you into bits and pieces and calling it a "drone strike against terrorists", if you even hear of it at all.  They would probably prefer that method of elimination than having to bribe and infiltrate to kill them in prison.

In reply to by AVmaster (not verified)

Sir Edge Lurk Skywatcher Thu, 07/20/2017 - 17:06 Permalink

 BREAKING NEWS... BEAKING NEWS...      US Attorney General Jeff Sessions Closes Down The Private Federal Reserve Company and gives the US Money Creation Responsibility back to the US Governemnt where the US Constitution says it belongs..Sessions says that this Fed Monetary DEBT SCAM has gone on long enough... Those Arrested...   Alan Greenspan... Israeli American - Charged With High Treason against the American People    Ben Bernanke... Israeli American - Charged With High Treason against the American People    Janel Yellen... Israeli American - Charged with High Treason against the American People    Stanley Fischer... Israeli Israeli - Charge with High Treason against the American PeopleSessionas declared a Debt Jubilee on any and all Fed Debt Owned to Foreign Banks and Wall Street Primary Dealers... Poof Its Gone !Sessions was heard to mention that the IRS was next... and that the $3.8 Billion dollars given to Israel each year will be reduced to $100KMany Americans decided they were becoming proud of the USA again today due to Sessions patriotic actions. Edgey...

In reply to by Lurk Skywatcher

jeff montanye armada (not verified) Thu, 07/20/2017 - 22:57 Permalink

so glad you and your noms de plume keep popping up and offering me an entry and you an honest upvote (i cannot vouch for your deep medieval or renaissance history or biblical analysis but your take on israel since the late victorian age is spot on, imo).as many have said, jeff sessions appears to be a deep state pussy, vetted aipac asset and, generally, made unmanned.  he does what he's told.i hope president trump takes the risk of impeachment/assasination/"a cold"/twenty fifth amendment seriously enough to keep working, if not 24/7, at least 6/4 on gaining real control of the clandestine, investigatory and prosecutorial portions of "our government."  i'd love to teach a civics class for a day.  with immunity.

In reply to by armada (not verified)

dcohn Sir Edge Thu, 07/20/2017 - 21:33 Permalink

You make this shit as you type.These idiots are 100% American assholes.  Not israeli.I assume that makes you American Polish from your Skywalker last name.  Everything with sky in it is Polish right?Just plain dumb.  The fact that they are Jews means nothing unless you are still in the stone age and believe that if they are Jewish they must be bad.  Just fucking dumb.  There are plenty of equally Dumb and corrupt Irish, British, Brussellians.  HAHAAssholes come in every range and color.  Look at you.When people stop living as their Ego-Identities then we will find a way out of this shit.  But as people like yourself and most everyone of us do not start to learn that we are more than our ego-indentities then peace can come to this world.  Bad shit does not happen to people that live in this moment.  Stop with your friggin story already and wake up.Alan Greenspan... Israeli American    Ben Bernanke... Israeli American    Stanley Fischer... Israeli American   Janel Yellen... Israeli American

In reply to by Sir Edge

jeff montanye dcohn Thu, 07/20/2017 - 23:12 Permalink

what i don't get is how your last four lines support what went before.  these you mention are part of the problem not part of the solution, almost as much as anyone.  it is a testimony to the unique heinousness of 9-11, etc. that such a qualification is necessary.but you are in part right, the fact that they are jews means less than it is thought to (not "nothing") because the real devils are the mossad/likud zionists and their goy assets.  and many jews are part of the solution not part of the problem (glenn greenwald).  even if some may fail the 9-11 litmus test, some do not: ed asner, https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=jewish+truthers&ie… truthers are hated by the legacy media and the deep state more than anyone else, imo.  his name was seth rich.

In reply to by dcohn

Mazzy dcohn Thu, 07/20/2017 - 23:17 Permalink

How about just Kike Assholes?They really don't have loyalty to countries per se, they are loyal unto themselves.  Soverign states are just tax farms in their eyes.  As long as they have control over the banks they are happy, but they will demonize countries which escape from their clutches.The kikes want Russia back.  They can't get China or much of central Asia.  Iran has long been demonized.  Syria, Libya, and Iraq were all toppled via Israel's pet sledgehammer (the USA).

In reply to by dcohn

PhilofOz dcohn Fri, 07/21/2017 - 02:26 Permalink

Are they, or are they not, dual citizens?Here in Oz two Greens senators have been kicked out when it came out that they were dual citizens, one with Britain and the other with the New Zealand. We've got and had quite a few Jewish polticians here... wonder what their status is and do the same rules apply to them if they also have Israeli citizenship?

In reply to by dcohn

Sonic the porcupine Sir Edge Fri, 07/21/2017 - 07:31 Permalink

Let's pretend for a moment that the Federal Reserve is "private" (spoiler: it isn't). Do you really think the Federal Government could run it better? Money should be determined by individual actors. Interest rates should be determined by individual actors.The problem isn't wether the Federal Reserve is "private" or public, or who runs it, the problem is that it exists at all.

In reply to by Sir Edge

Chupacabra-322 The Juggernaut Thu, 07/20/2017 - 19:58 Permalink


The Criminal Fraud UNITED STATES, CORP. INC. & it's Criminal Fraud affiliates at the Criminal STATE & LOCAL Levels are attempting to Eliminate the philosophy of


Agorism is a libertarian social philosophy that advocates creating a society in which all relations between people are voluntary exchanges by means of counter-economics, thus engaging with aspects of peaceful revolution. It was first proposed by libertarian philosopher Samuel Edward Konkin III.

In other words,

The Criminal Oligarch Cabal Bankster Intelligence Crime Syndicate is eliminating any form of "Cyber" Trade or attempt of any Free Market System outside of their Criminal Fraud System of Debt, Bondage & Enslavement.

In reply to by The Juggernaut

Tijuana Donkey Show overbet Thu, 07/20/2017 - 13:16 Permalink

Nope. They have cameras on lots of wifi looking for that. Get a burner cell phone for a hot spot at a flea market, and pop through VPN's. Encrypt your disk, and make sure to run a Linux setup that dumps the ram and cache. Ulbrect was rolled up on, me didn't shut his laptop at the library? Horseshit. Dude was a plant. This dude was a plant. TOR is totally hacked, and they use these networks to catch people who are part of the CIA drug programs.

In reply to by overbet