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If the goal were to do as you say, the FBI could have easily kept operating it as a honeypot. They did not, however, leading me to believe that the users of the Silk Road were not their concern and of little consequence to a law enforcement agency of that size.

I think most drug busts are incidental: discovered when dealing with another crime (someone questioned for robbery, domestic violence or erratic driving). Large operations like this, or even medium ones on the local level, are generally about busting large gangs and even then it’s usually the violence that brings those gangs into law enforcements crosshairs. The sheer size of SR -- and the political pressure -- made it an exception.

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