The FBI in San Francisco has arrested and charged a man with running Silk Road, an online black market for drug sales, federal authorities said.
Court papers filed in New York accuse Ross Ulbricht, 29, of engaging in a "massive money-laundering" operation and of attempting to arrange a murder for hire, The New York Times reported.
Ulbricht was arrested Tuesday.
On the Silk Road marketplace, where identities of sellers are not revealed to buyers, Ulbricht has used the name Dread Pirate Roberts, authorities said, and until now his identity was a mystery.
About $1.2 million in sales were made in the Silk Road marketplace in a recent month, a study by Nicolas Christin of Pittsburgh's Carnegie-Mellon University stated.
An estimated $3.6 million worth of bitcoins, a virtual currency used in transactions, was seized as part of the investigation, the newspaper said.