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Silk Road operators developed a taste for murder

Joab Jackson | Feb. 3, 2015
Silk Road administrators may have had five swindlers murdered, or they may have been duped by con artists themselves.

At the time, Dread Pirate Roberts was in touch with someone claiming to speak for Hell's Angels, with the screen name redandwhite. Dread Pirate Roberts was hoping that the site could work more directly with large drug distributors, rather than the street dealers that made up the primary pool of vendors that used Silk Road. The Hell's Angels could be a conduit to such business. Dread Pirate Roberts told redandwhite about the extortion attempt and asked if the Hell's Angels could put out a hit on FriendlyChemist.

Redandwhite said they could do the job for $150,000, or $300,000 for a murder that looked like an accident. He did note that the Hell's Angels had already found reallucydrop and resolved that matter to their satisfaction. Redandwhite also provided what he claimed was the identity of FriendlyChemist, 34-year-old British Columbia resident Blake Krokoff. In chats, Dread Pirate Roberts revealed to FriendlyChemist that he spoke with the Hell's Angels and that they were not interested in FriendlyChemist; nonetheless FriendlyChemist did not back down on his demands.

After some price haggling, Dread Pirate Roberts told redandwhite to do the job, and on March 31, redandwhite let Dread Pirate Roberts know by chat that his problem with FriendlyChemist "had been taken care of." Redandwhite indicated in a chat that he sent a photo of the deceased FriendlyChemist, though the photo had been deleted from the computer shortly after it was received, prosecutors said.

A personal journal kept on the laptop indicated that on the following day, the author of the journal "had gotten word that the blackmailer had been taken care of." Prosecutors also showed on a spreadsheet found on the laptop that Silk Road paid out approximately $167,000 worth of bitcoins to an account associated with redandwhite.

The offing of FriendlyChemist, fictional or otherwise, would not be the end of Dread Pirate Roberts' problems, though. Redandwhite said that his commissioned thugs questioned FriendlyChemist before slaying him, and that FriendlyChemist revealed that the blackmail attempt was part of a larger ongoing operation to defraud Silk Road and its users. FriendlyChemist was in cahoots with another British Columbia Silk Road vendor who went by multiple names: Tony76, among others.

The alleged Hell's Angel member explained, that, for a fee, Tony76 would teach other sellers to defraud Silk Road users by selling a small amount of goods to build up trust and then not delivering on subsequent larger orders. Because Tony76 helped FriendlyChemist in the blackmail attempt, it would probably be a good idea to knock him off as well, redandwhite advised. More problematic was that Tony76, who redandwhite identified as an "Andrew Lawsry" of Surrey, British Columbia, was working with three other individuals on their operations to defraud Silk Road, all in the same workspace.


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