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Ross Ulbricht: Found Guilty of Running Silk Road as Dread Pirate Roberts

Ross Ulbricht now faces life in prison for founding & running the original Silk Road website. Ulbricht was charged with seven counts including: trafficking drugs on the Internet, narcotics-trafficking conspiracy, running a continuing criminal enterprise, computer-hacking conspiracy and money-laundering conspiracy. (The case is U.S. v. Ulbricht, 14-cr-068, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan)).

After nearly four hours of deliberation, the jury found Ulbricht guilty on all seven counts, He will be sentenced on 30 May and could face between 20 years and life in prison.

During its two-year life (2011 – 2013), Silk Road – which could only be accessed through the Tor web browser – grew to become the biggest illegal drug market on the internet, allegedly earning its owner millions of dollars in commission.

Lyn Ulbricht, Ross’ mother, said she “assumes” Ross will appeal the guilty verdict, and that evidence indicating there was more than one Dread Pirate Roberts was not allowed. She said their lawyer was “shackled” by the judge’s decision to not hear evidence from three of the defence’s witnesses. “You can’t get the full picture when you cherry pick evidence,” Mrs Ulbricht added.

Ulbricht’s defence said the 30-year-old created Silk Road, but found running the site “too stressful after a few months, and he handed it off to others.”

Joshua Dratel, Ulbricht’s lawyer, said his client was lured back into running the website after its owners found out an FBI raid was imminent. Dratel described Ulbricht as the perfect “fall guy.”

The trial’s closing arguments saw the prosecution claim Ulbricht ran the Silk Road website from its creation in early 2011 to its closure by the FBI in October, 2013. Prosecutors describe the Texan as a power-hungry kingpin who used threats of violence and murder to protect his multimillion-dollar drug empire.

Silk Road “was his baby, and he stayed with it enthusiastically for nearly three years,” assistant US attorney Serrin Turner told the court. “It was his secret livelihood. It was his passion.”

Sources: ibtimes.co.uk , Bloombergs , theverge

12 comments

  1. We may never know the truth. In the United States, people have been convicted of murder, sentenced to death, and have come within a few hours of being executed, only to be set free from death row years (or decades) later. The US justice system is far from perfect, and it seems that the judge wanted to railroad Ross, regardless of his true guilt or not. Hence, she stacked the deck against him. The true DPR may still be out there, and if so, he has likely assumed a new pseudonym and may also be running a new Dark Market!

    The United State’s governments efforts are a form of “artificial selection”; those site operators who use best practices will likely thrive and survive. Those who don’t will, of course, face extinction. In the end, the Deep Web will thrive and prosper, thanks, in part, to the efforts of the TLAs/LE.

    • the US “justice system” is a crock of SHITe run by people of a certain sinister ethnicity…..right now…they fckn HATE the i/net because they can’t “control” it…..

      Ulbricht’s prosecution was purely political…..

      that’s why he prblby won’t get an appeal up…..

      solution:

      …either:
      i/don’t get taken ALIVE by these fucking ARSE-holes;
      or
      ii/operate from a country with no extradition treaty with the US…..
      i think “Jolly Roger” provides a list of these in his “security guide for beginners”

      • doppleganger

        Jimbo – I suppose the white supremacy movement is the model this community should follow. You are saying that Ross got fucked because his judge is jewish ? I guess all of the other countries that oppose basic freedoms like China, Russia, N. Korea, England, India etc. are all run by Jews. White people are just so just and freedom minded.

        You are an idiot, detracting from the real problems associated with the outcome of this unfair trial.

  2. Anon; you will end up in prison

    • To date I remain a free man. I can assure you that I use TrueCrypt full system encryption, do not write my passphrases down anywhere, and always, always use Tails via anonymous public Wi-Fi access points. I fear the TLAs deeply, which is why they will never be able to arrest, or even find, me.

      • “anon public WiFi access points” are fine & dandy if you live near some-where that has them…

        but…..what if you don’t, eh?

        TAILs/gnu-PGP with MAC changer…..any good u rckn?
        (from home, that is!)

  3. Jimbo – I suppose the white supremacy movement is the model this community should follow. You are saying that Ross got fucked because his judge is jewish ? I guess all of the other countries that oppose basic freedoms like China, Russia, N. Korea, England, India etc. are all run by Jews. White people are just so just and freedom minded.

    You are an idiot, detracting from the real problems associated with the outcome of this unfair trial.

  4. All you Silk Road fanbois ought to wake up and smell the coffee. The reason Ross was convicted was primarily because of the chat logs, spreadsheets, diary entries, etc. that he himself saved on his laptop. If he had saved none of this, there would likely have been no real case against him, and he would have stood a reasonable chance of walking away a free man.

    The authorities found a note, hand-written by Ross, in the trashcan of his room; this note contained information on Silk Road staff payments. They also found an encrypted USB thumbdrive, with a two-week old backup of the site.

    Ross not only kept records of his own activities, but he also doxed the people working for him — keeping PGP-encrypted copies of scans of their drivers’ licenses. The FBI found his PGP passphrase in a folder named ‘keys’ on the laptop. They didn’t even have to break his PGP-encrypted files; he just left the password for them to find. They tried the password, and it decrypted the files. That’s why 3 of Ross’s employees were arrested within six weeks of Ross’s own arrest.

    The only person responsible for Ross’s current predicament is Ross himself.

    Owl

  5. Awww, Jimbo don’t get your little white penis sucked internally into a bunch. It must be hard (no pun intended) to cope with your physical inadequacies. But that is no reason to blame entire groups of people ( race, creed, etc. ) for the injustices of the world.

    Now back to Ross: he obviously made several stupid mistakes and did not use proper OPSEC. I think the biggest blunder was using the same name / email to promote SR on a forum as he used on the site.

    What still remains suspect is how the Feds accessed the server in Iceland. That was a blatant 4th ammendment violation. They argued that because Ross pled not guilty they were not in violation. What a crock of shit. The outcome of the trial was inevitable from the beginning. They were going to make an example of Ross. He at no point had any chance.

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