Spam kingpin seized in the US

6 Jul 2005

Met at the airport by the FBI, and 'Rizler' is expected to appear in court today

The FBI has arrested a spammer who was generating multimillion dollar revenues through his operations.

Thought to be responsible for more than a billion spam mails sent to AOL accounts, Christopher Smith (aka 'Rizler') was arrested just after midnight as he got off a flight from the Dominican Republic last Thursday and is expected to appear in court today.

Smith had been operating out of the Dominican Republic ever since a US federal judge shut down his Burnsville Internet and Xpress Pharmacy Direct businesses and ordered him to stop selling drugs. These businesses are thought to have netted him some $18m this year alone.

In May, the FBI raided 25-year-old Smith's home and businesses, seizing $4.2m in assets and his passport. At the time of arrest Smith was travelling under a false passport.

Yet since his court order, Smith is known to have begun operating other drugs sites under a variety of aliases. By breaking court orders, Smith faces a charge of criminal contempt and could be jailed for six months.