Operator of illegal online drug store, arrested

Local 2 Investigates has discovered less than a week after his arrest, 3 copycat websites that have popped up

By Bill Spencer - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - Just imagine, every drug addict's dream come true, an online swap meet where you can buy virtually every dangerous, illegal drug known to man, with just a few clicks on your laptop computer. These drugs would be delivered to your door through the mail.

Welcome to the world of Silk Road.

For two and a half years, it has been the internet's ultra-profitable, all but untraceable, black market bazaar for the hardest drugs you can think of.

Drugs like heroin, LSD, cocaine and methamphetamine.

Over the last two years FBI investigators have been hunting the operator of this website down.  A website the feds say generated $1.2 billion in sales.

The site facilitated illegal drug transactions with nearly 960,000 users, both buyers of drugs and sellers.

Like something out of the TV show Breaking Bad, the FBI says Ross William Ulbricht, raised in Austin, Texas, ran Silk Road and collected more than $80 million in commissions off these online drug sales.

Just last week the FBI arrested Ulbricht at a San Francisco Public Library, and using his laptop computer, agents shut down Silk Road.

But Local 2 Investigates has discovered less than a week after Ulbricht's arrest there are already three copycat websites that have popped-up to take Silk Roads place.

Local 2 will not reveal the names of these new, black market, drug websites for fear we will help grow their illegal drug business.

But internet experts like Andrew Douglas, student director of the University Of Houston's Red Labs, says these new drug websites could be even more dangerous than Silk Road because at least Silk Road had rules dealing with what the website could sell.
Douglas says some of these newer sites have no such rules.

In fact, one of the sites has been called a Silk Road with zero morals, a virtual free for all, offering sales of illegal weapons and child pornography along with illegal drugs.

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