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Internet’s largest black market, AlphaBay, taken down by U.S. government

A file photo of a man typing on a keyboard.
A file photo of a man typing on a keyboard.

U.S. Justice Department officials are announcing a takedown of AlphaBay, an internet marketplace for drugs, counterfeit goods, weapons, hacking tools and other illicit items.

Prosecutors say AlphaBay had 200,000 members and 40,000 vendors before it was taken offline. They say it was the largest of many illegal marketplaces that operate in hidden corners of the internet.

READ MORE: How the dark web is used to sell illegal drugs like fentanyl

The site operated on the Tor network, which helps users browse the internet anonymously. Visitors to the online marketplace paid through digital currencies such as Bitcoin. Officials say hundreds of vendors advertised either fentanyl or heroin.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other federal officials announced an indictment in California on Thursday of a suspected administrator of the site, and the Justice Department filed a forfeiture complaint to seize assets connected to the operation.

WATCH: What is the dark web and is it easy to access?

What is the dark web and is it easy to access?
What is the dark web and is it easy to access?
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