Recently, an unsealed indictment has accused Bryan Connor Herrel of engaging in a racketeer influenced corrupt organization (RICO Act) in connection with the iconic AlphaBay market. The indictment states that Herrell has worked as the AlphaBay moderator under the usernames or pseudo-names “Penissmith” and “Botah” while using dark web directories.
However, the United States government has dropped all the charges against the alleged AlphaBay administrator Alexandre Cazes after his death in a jail cell in Thailand, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott for the Eastern District of California and Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division as announced in a press release.
The accused is currently in custody. The accused who used the pseudo-name Pennismith, is perhaps the most well known for his time working as an AlphaBay moderator. There are references that state that some of his other work stood out on Reddit and various dark web news sites. Pennismith has published the below mentioned Op-Ed under the title “Op-Ed: PENISSMITH’s STATE of the DARKNET.”
The accused, Herrel, was first arrested after a traffic stop in the year 2014 on fraud charges. Two men are currently facing charges after an Olive Branch officer pulled them over for speeding and uncovered a forgery business. Major Bill Cox with Olive Branch Police Department said that it goes to show that no stop is routine. Everything can be something of importance. A federal officer pulled over suspects Bryan Connor Herrell and Ralston Boswell near the Craft Goodman Frontage and Highway 302 on one fine Wednesday morning.
The officer believed that there could possibly be some drugs in the vehicle and called for a K9 officer. The dog alerted when letting to sniff, so officers searched the car. They found numerous counterfeit cards, equipment to make them, cash, and various other items. Major Cox said that the department has worked with the Secret Service and West Memphis, Arkansas, in this investigation. He believes that the men have been in other states as well before Mississippi.
Major Cox further stated that one of the suspects admitted to smoking marijuana before the stop, which is probably why the K9 alerted on the car. Both men are then charged with Uttering Forgery.
Source – DWL