It’s not clear what level of punishment authorities want if Harmon is found guilty. However, the charges of money laundering conspiracy, running an unlicensed money transmitting business and sending money without a DC license could add up to a significant amount of time behind bars. A charge for an unlicensed money transmitting business carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison by itself.
The charge is a win for feds who want to show they can take down all the infrastructure for a darknet criminal marketplace, not just the main organization. It’s also a symbolic blow given the sheer scale of the claimed operations. At the same time, we wouldn’t count on this being a deterrent. If true, Harmon was running a large operation relatively openly — smaller or stealthier outlets might be harder to take down.