As Silk Road dealers get arrested, tensions rise among former users

Less than a week after the FBI arrested 29-year-old Silk Road baron Ross “Dread Pirate Roberts” Ulbricht for placing a hit on one of his former employees, more users of the now-defunct online marketplace are having run-ins with the law. With at least seven arrests made across the world, former users are concerned about what’s coming next.

According to Buzzfeed, the FBI has arrested Steven Lloyd Sadler, allegedly known as top Silk Road drug dealer “NOD,” along with an accomplice in Bellevue, Washington. Across the pond, British authorities arrested four people “on suspicion of supplying controlled drugs” on the website and Swedish law enforcement nabbed two people for allegedly selling marijuana. The recent spate of arrests indicates that there’s a high likelihood that more top sellers on the marketplace — which was known as an easy place to score drugs of all kinds — will meet a similar fate.

That threat has caused many former users of Silk Road to become concerned for their safety. While subreddit /r/SilkRoad was made private in the wake of Ulbricht’s arrest, the board has opened back up — and become noticeably more tense. Some concerned posts have surfaced — particularly when posters have had an identification-revealing misstep — or when suspicious circumstances arise.

“Nah but dude I freaked out this morning because I’m waiting on a late package and my doorbell rang,” wrote user titoprince_. “The day before I freaked out because there were like 12 identical white cars in my parking lot. I’m a little on edge.”

There are also general discussions about the event at large — and when and how to pursue legal counsel.

“I will pass this simple information along that my attorney told me. Do not speak a word to any investigator,” wrote user AnonRelay. “An IP address alone is not enough for a conviction. Only probable cause.”

But there isn’t just fear amid the arrests. Some users are also making calls to double down on the online black markets by building a more secure alternative.

“The shutdown of OiNK didn’t end torrent sites. It only gave birth to bigger and better ones,” wrote Reddit user Phusion. “Expect a bigger and better Silk Road within a few months.”