Home > News > Pirates, Bitcoins, and Drugs - Oh My!

Pirates, Bitcoins, and Drugs - Oh My!

Jurors are now deliberating over the identity of Dread Pirate Roberts

Pirates, Bitcoins, and Drugs - Oh My!

Manhattan federal court kicked off the first stage of trial for the Ross Ulbricht, the accused creator and operator of Silk Road, the black market website on Jan. 13.

Manhattan federal court kicked off the first stage of trial for the Ross Ulbricht, the accused creator and operator of Silk Road, the black market website on Jan. 13.

The U.S. is accusing Mr. Ulbricht of obtaining millions of dollars in Bitcoins from the Silk Road website, which is part of the notorious Tor Network, an anonymous part of the internet.

Silk Road was a notorious online black market, which was best well known for selling illegal drugs. Dread Pirate Roberts was the pseudonym of the owner and manager of site. The website initially launched in February 2011. The website was worth $1.2 billion dollars before federal law enforcement shut it down in October 2013, upon “mysteriously” discovering the location of the server in Iceland. Alerting the Icelandic authorities, they cooperated and made a copy of the site, which helped US law enforcement track down Ulbricht. During the time the site was live, however, the U.S. is alleging that tens of thousands of people used the site to trade drugs, acquire forged documents and buy and sell hacking services.

Silk Road was a notorious online black market, which was best well known for selling illegal drugs. Dread Pirate Roberts was the pseudonym of the owner and manager of site.

On October 2 2013, Mr. Ulbricht was arrested in San Francisco in a public library, where officials seized his laptop, which included spreadsheets and even journals related to the site. By November of 2013, Silk Road 2.0 was up and running and continues to be currently.

Mr. Ulbricht pleaded not guilty to the charges in February of 2014, which include operating a continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to commit narcotics trafficking, money laundering and computer hacking.

The defense began the trial with a bang when they accused the Bitcoin entrepreneur Mark Karpeles of being the real Silk Road kingpin, but he quickly denied that via Twitter.

The prosecution forced Ulbricht’s friend from college, eBay employee Richard Bates to testify that he helped Ulbricht in the coding for the site while still in college, to avoid his own prosecution in his role for building the website. However, Bates did say the Ulbricht told him that he sold the site in October 2011. The prosecution also accused of Mr. Ulbricht of soliciting murders to silence people that knew about his involvement in Silk Road, though the case will not try the murder charges against him, but the evidence will be used in court.

The trial heard closing arguments this Tuesday, and now the jurors are deliberating.

Comments

Related Articles

Add to comparison
Compare
This page is currently only available in English.