Ross Ulbricht, the man behind the Silk Road empire, after being convicted on February 15 for seven crimes, including money laundering, computer hacking, and assassination conspiracies, has had his sentencing postponed from the May 15 to May 29.
New allegations have emerged that six people died of drug overdoes from drugs purchased on the Silk Road black market. However, the defense argue the prosecution haven’t shown sufficient evidence, and this extra time may help the defense to discredit the allegations.
The dark-web mogul first made headlines after creating a online platform for the illegal sale of drugs called Silk Road, making an untraceable world that remained inaccessible to the FBI and law enforcement officers until his arrest was made in the San Francisco public library in October 2013. They seized his laptop and discovered that $13.4 million of black market bitcoins could be traced back directly to the Silk Road server.
It took the jury less than four hours to convict Ulbricht earlier this year, and his defense team quickly admitted he had created Silk Road. But the twists and turns of this case never seem to end.
First of all, Ulbricht’s lawyer Joshua Dratel accused the prosecution of basing their evidence on “exhibits rather than testimonies.” With this claim, they requested a new trial stating that his fourth amendment rights were violated by the FBI when they searched the Silk Road servers.
Another twist occurred when two federal agents were charged with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in bitcoin. Carl Mark Force IV and Shaun Bridges were found to have been involved in money laundering, wire fraud, and theft of government property.
The messy case continued to churn out new revelations almost daily, including fake murders and a witness taking the fall for an agent’s theft. It was literally a web of lies. With estimated sentencing of 30 years to life, we await the final verdict on the dark web mastermind or the latest twist…
By Charlotte Howell