According to Wired, Ross Ulbricht has been identified by the FBI as the mastermind behind Silk Road. Allegedly, Ulbricht was the owner and manager of Silk Road, an anonymous marketplace for narcotics sales and distribution, forged IDs, and murder-for-hire contracts worldwide. There is no indication that he has hired a criminal defense lawyer at this time. Reportedly, Silk Road has had over $1.2 billion in sales since its creation 2 1/2 years ago. Silk Road obtained $80 million in commissions for its service. Payments were made with a currency known as “Bitcoin,” a cryptocurrency that can be transferred electronically without the use of a financial institution. Because Bitcoin was difficult to trace and not subject to any government regulation, Silk Road was able to thrive for 2 1/2 years.
The criminal complaint stated as follows:
Silk Road has emerged as the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet today. The site has sought to make conducting illegal transactions on the Internet as easy and frictionless as shopping online at mainstream e-commerce websites.
There are also allegations that Ulbricht solicited the murder of a Silk Road vendor who threatened to reveal site users if Ulbricht did not pay him $500,000. The FBI claims that Ulbricht went by the name of Dread Pirate Roberts after a character from the film The Princess Bride. Ulbricht’s family and friends were interviewed and there is no indication that any of them knew that Ulbricht could potentially be involved in the Silk Road market.
His defense attorney will need to be knowledgeable about several aspects of criminal defense, including computer networking and how that comes into play in the narcotics conspiracy. The discovery in this case will have to be closely evaluated to determine how exactly Ulbricht is linked to the Silk Road narcotics market and the overall conspiracy.
Our federal criminal defense attorney is experienced and licensed in several states, including South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia. If you are been investigated or have been charged with a federal crime in any of these jurisdictions, contact our office toll free at 1-800-94-TRIAL.