May 22

Silk Road Judge Reviews Research Submitted By The Defense

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

The prosecution and defense are at odds as to whether the online black market website Silkroad founded by Ross William Ulbricht saved lives or killed people. The federal judge responsible for sentencing Ulbricht is seeking help with respect to research on “cryptomarkets”.

Katherine B. Forrest - Southern District Judge  REc'd 0712

Katherine Forrest, the U.S. District Judge who will sentence Ulbricht on 29 May 2015, said Tuesday in an order that she wants prices, quantities, and other data as regards 10 different illicit drugs that are listed on the Silkroad website. She also said that she would like to review scholarly articles related to the impact of Silkroad on the drug market.

Prosecutors are planning to provide evidence about the six people, at Ulbricht’s sentencing, who allegedly died after they purchased drugs on Silkroad website. On the other hand, the defense team argued, through their filings last week, that the government would not be able to prove that Silkroad was responsible for their deaths. They also argued that Silkroad helped to reduce the violence associated with drug trafficking by creating an online market for drugs and making sellers and buyers anonymous.

468005219-e1401302735787This is one of the reasons as to why the judge wants to research the cryptomarkets. Forrest said in her order that she would review the research the defense has cited, but sought help to locate the articles, including “Drugs on the Dark Net: How Cryptomarkets are Transforming the Global Trade in Illicit Drugs” (written by Dr. James Martin) and “Lost on the Silkroad: Online Drug Distribution and the Cryptomarket”.

In addition, Forrest wanted to have a copy of the Silkroad website for herself so as to perform her own searches as regards what was available on the website for sale. A fully functional copy of the website has been reproduced by the government from the server for the purpose.

May 21

DPR Offered A Doctor $500 Per Week For His Services

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silkroad 2.0.

>>Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

imagesDread Pirate Roberts (DPR), a name used by Ross Ulbricht, the convicted mastermind behind the now defunct Silk Road marketplace, paid Dr. Fernando Caudevilla $500 a week to keep the users of this illicit darknet site safe. The information came to light when Ross’ lawyer was trying to argue that the anonymous darknet site was a responsible marketplace, and by far the best of its kind in this regard.

According to Ulbricht’s lawyer, Joshua Dratel, the site was being accountable by using the medical advice of the doctor to ensure Silkroad users had access to safer drugs. The site was shut down in October 2013, and Ulbricht was found guilty in February of this year, and could spend up to the rest of his life behind bars for his role in the running of the illicit darknet site among other convictions.

Doctor Fernando Caudevilla is a Spanish physician, and was an active member on Silk Road forums under the alias, DoctorX. He told the court that initially, he offered his services for free, until DPR reached out to him with an offer to pay $500 a week for advice on safety of the drugs offered on the site. Over a period of 7 months, the doctor posted over 450 messages to help Silk Road users.

indexThe issue of safety of Silk Road emerged after the judge asked both sides to give more evidence in relation to claims by the government that the site was responsible for six drug overdose deaths. In arguing that the deaths should not worsen Ross’ sentence, Dratel said that Silk Road users had access to physician counseling services among other safety measures.

Earlier in the year, the court found Ulbricht guilty on all counts, although his lawyers continue to deny that he created the website with the intention of operating a criminal enterprise. The defense team also insists that Ross was not DPR. His sentencing is barely over a week away, and he stands to spend between 20 years to life in prison.

May 15

The Undisclosed Story Of The Silk Road Saga

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

Dread Pirate RobertsThe story about the rise and ultimate fall of the Silk Road has been in the news for the past few years, and culminated in its founder Ross Ulbricht, who went by the handle “Dread Pirate Roberts”, being found guilty of creating and operating the online marketplace. His sentencing has been postponed to 29th of May, and he is also expected to appeal his conviction.

While people know some of the names of the big players in this story, not too many people really know how the Silk Road came about, becoming the largest online marketplace to buy and sell illegal drugs, and how it all came crashing down.

Ross Ulbricht, a smart young man who grew up in Austin, Texas, went from a student at Penn State University, who was working on getting his master’s degree in materials science and engineering.

While he was at Penn State, Ulbricht became less interested in engineering, and more interested in economics. Upon his graduation, he moved back home to Austin, where he tried his hands at trading, and video game developing with no success. He eventually helped his friend build a website that sold used books, and it had some success after a while. While running the book company, Ulbricht started learning about bitcoins, which could be used anonymously, and had the idea to create a marketplace where anybody can buy anything, including drugs. In January 2011, the Silk Road marketplace was live.

Silk Road enjoyed a lot of uninterrupted success for over a year, before law enforcement agencies got wind of what was going on, and made over $1 billion in sales, but soon after, it all started to crumble.

The first crack in the Silk Road armor came through the arrest of Curtis Green, a 47-year -old man who lived in Utah, and was busted for possession of $27,000 worth of cocaine, with intent to distribute, during a DEA sting operation. He ended up working for the government, due to fears of him being assassinated by Ulbricht, if word of his arrest ever got out, because of what he knew about the operation.

Another major player in the Silk Road saga was Special Agent Carl Mark Force IV, a DEA agent who went undercover with the sole purpose of becoming friends with Ulbricht, by pretending to be a cartel operative. He started to build a little trust with Ulbricht, and caught a break when Ulbricht found out that Curtis Green had been arrested. He figured correctly that Green would cooperate with law enforcement agents, and also found out that $350,000 in bitcoins went missing, so he enlisted Force to torture him and eventually asked him to execute Green.

The Silk RoadDespite the fact that he asked a DEA agent to commit murder, nobody knew who Ulbricht was, until June 2013, when a Reddit user posted a warning about the Silk Road’s IP address being visible to others. This was the break that law enforcement agents had been waiting for, and it led to them finding out Ulbricht’s physical address in San Francisco, where he had been living. Law enforcement agents paid him a visit at the address, but still couldn’t prove that he was Dread Pirate Roberts, so they couldn’t arrest him.

Now that they knew who he was, the law enforcement agents kept a close eye on him, waiting for him to slip up. Eventually, they were able to get access to the Silk Road, as administrators. They used the access that they had as administrative users to confirm that he was indeed Dread Pirate Roberts, and they were able to arrest him at a local library, in October 2013, a few months after they tracked him down.

May 13

“Deep Web” Explores The Dark Net

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silkroad 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silkroad 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

Deep Web is a documentary film that has been created by Alex WinterDeep Web is a documentary film that has been created by Alex Winter. The documentary explores in detail the darknet marketplace Silkroad that has been closed down by the feds and the arrest of the Silkroad founder, Ross Ulbricht. The EPIX original documentary, unveiled at Montclair Film Festival, is scheduled to be premiered on May 31, 2015.

The documentary gives an inside look into this century’s most gripping digital crime saga; the arrest and conviction of the 30-year-old entrepreneur Ross William Ulbricht who created and operated Silkroad, an online black market, under the name “Dread Pirate Roberts”. The film on Silkroad also explores as to how the thought leaders and brightest minds behind the online black market and bitcoin are now caught in a legal tangle.

Explores The Dark NetIn addition, the “Deep Web” features the core architects of the deep web; anarchistic cryptographers who developed tools for the military during the early 1990s; the dissident whistleblowers who sought refuge in this environment which seemed to be secure initially; and others who contributed a great deal to the meteoric rise of Silkroad, which skillfully combined the deep web’s security with the cryptocurrency bitcoin’s anonymity.

Ross Ulbricht’s parents continue to fight for his release, saying that he was not only denied defense, but also not allowed to present certain witnesses in the Silkroad case. In the documentary, Lyn Ulbricht, Ross’ mother, talks about the miscarriage of justice that is going on against the supporters of the dark net and how the Prison Industrial Complex, War on Drugs, and annihilation of online privacy has colluded to imprison her son. The documentary also explores the future of the dark net.

May 08

Ireland Men Busted For Selling Drugs On The Silk Road Site

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

222On April 2015, two Northern Ireland men who ran a drugs “party pack” international business with the use of an online underground marketplace called the Silk Road were jailed. Ryan Thomas McManus, 31, and Ryan Michael Milligan, 29, who had been arrested in August 2013, were given seven year sentences – half of it to be served in prison and the other half on license upon release. The sentences were passed by Judge McFarland after the two pleaded guilty of all the charges against them.

During the court’s hearing of the case a week earlier, the Crown Prosecutor’s report explained that McManus and Milligan were arrested and a search was conducted on properties linked to them and drugs were seized. The report further explained that during the 18-month period of offending, the two received packages of drugs brought to addresses that were affiliated to them. They also transacted using a virtual mailbox facility in Belfast. An account with the company was opened by McManus using fake credentials and parcels were subsequently sent to the account. An investigation was later launched and McManus was caught leaving the company with a white package via surveillance.

On 5th August 2013, a courier’s attempt to deliver a parcel at an address in Dunwellan Park in Newcastle but nobody answered his call. The package was sent back to the depot and was opened and a large number of tablets were found in it. A search was conducted at the Dunwellan Park address and Connor Devenney, the occupant, was arrested. Later that day, McManus was arrested after police connected with the search spotted a vehicle registered under his name parked near an alley in the area. The officers approached him when they saw him walk out of the alleyway. In the vehicle, they found the key to a garage which they searched and found ’42 exhibits’. Also searched that day was Milligan’s Dundrum home where he was arrested for suspicion of drug offences. The three were taken to police custody for further interrogations.

When the men were arrested and the unraveling of the Silk Road happened in 2013, the FBI seized little under 40 orders of class A and B controlled drugs awaiting dispatch to recipients in Israel, Ireland, Greece, Sweden, Russia, USA, and within the UK. Mr. Conor Devenney, who died on the eve of the day the case was set out, was employed as the courier. He was responsible for the movement of the drugs out of and into the UK.

McManus and Milligan used aliases Blackwater86 and Sonicdrone and would order drugs through instant messaging services, website forums and emails, using North America, Netherlands and China-based suppliers. They paid for drugs and accepted payments from customers using virtual currencies such as bitcoin.

FBI

When officers searched their properties, they seized computers, phones, printers, iPads, banking details and passports, packaging and large amounts of controlled drugs such as amphetamine, 4-MEC, ecstasy, cannabis and LSD substitute tablets with “Sponge Bob Square Pants” face printed on them. Computers seized were analyzed and the result showed that they use the Silk Road site to advertise their business to the worldwide market. The approach really worked as they facilitated around 300 bespoke orders between May 2012 and July 2013. The transaction list revealed that they were mostly dealing with clients from Sweden, India, Italy and Russia.

May 07

Former Silk Road DEA Agent Denied Bail

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

11111Silkroad was a widely used online black market which was mostly used to sell and buy illegal drugs. Silkroad was part of the Deep Web; online users could use it anonymously to avoid being tracked by officials. Carl Mark Force was a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent who was in charge of investigating the founder of Silkroad, Ross Ulbricht.

However, Force allegedly went rogue by offering to sell his secrets to Ulbricht, and then deposited the illegally gained profits in his own personal bank account. He is facing charges of fraud and money laundering, among others for his illegal activity on Silkroad.

However, Force was caught, arrested for his crimes, and is currently awaiting trial. Now, federal prosecutors have successfully argued that Force should remain in jail, without being granted bail. United States Judge, Elizabeth Laporte, was in charge of the Silkroad hearing, and weighed the arguments presented by both government lawyers and Force’s defense attorney. After hearing an hour and a half of arguments presented by both sides, Laporte agreed with federal prosecutors who claimed Force is a flight risk, and refused the possibility of bail for his alleged activities regarding Silkroad.

Force, who is 46-years-old, showed no emotion during the hearing, and was dressed in jail garb wearing a red uniform with “Alameda County Jail” written on his back. He was quickly transferred back to the jail after the hearing concluded, where is will remain until the Silkroad trial is over, and most likely even longer.

Alameda County Jail

When detectives apprehended Force, he had in his possession what is commonly referred to as a “go-bag”, something that is typically found on people who are planning to flee, which also included a gun. Prosecutors pointed out that Force knew how to create multiple fake identities due to his work in the DEA, and he also sent over $200,000 to an offshore bitcoin site shortly before his arrest. Force resigned his position at the DEA in May 2014. His fate will be decided when the Silkroad trial concludes on a date and time that is still to be decided.

May 06

Silk Road Mastermind Sentencing Has Been Postponed

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

Ross Ulbricht, the man behind the Silkroad darknetRoss Ulbricht, the man behind the Silkroad darknet market, after being convicted on February 2015 for seven crimes, including money laundering, computer hacking, and assassination conspiracy, has had his sentencing postponed from the May 15 to May 29.

New allegations have emerged that six people died of drug overdose from drugs purchased on the Silkroad black market site. 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 an online platform for the illegal sale of drugs called Silkroad, 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 bitcoins could be traced back directly to the Silkroad server.

It took the jury less than four hours to convict Ulbricht earlier this year, and his defense team quickly admitted he had created Silkroad. But the twists and turns of the Silkroad case never seem to end.

FBIFirst 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 Silkroad 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. With estimated sentencing of 30 years to life, we await the final verdict on the Silkroad mastermind or the latest twist.

May 04

Silk Road Suspect’s Extradition Case To Be Heard In July

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

Silk Road Suspect's Extradition Case To Be Heard In JulyIt has just been reported that the U.S. is seeking extradition of an Irish man who was involved in the Silk Road darknet marketplace. Gary Davis (26), an Irish citizen who went by the pseudonym “Libertas”, is wanted in the U.S. to answer charges of conspiracy to sell narcotics, computer hacking and money laundering. Irish Minister for Justice Mr. Alan Shatter signed an official diplomacy certificate, confirming that indeed a request had been presented by U.S. officials for this particular extradition.

The case was briefly stated on a Tuesday 28/04/2015 hearing before High Court Judge Paul McDermott, he fixed the final date of July 14th for extradition appeal. Nevertheless, the Silk Road operative Mr. Davis is against this application arguing that he shouldn’t be surrendered over to U.S. authorities.

Gary was earlier on arrested after a warrant was issued by the courts, following this event the Attorney General Counsel, Ronan Kennedy, requested the justice system to set a hearing date by July so that the matter doesn’t drag on for lengthy periods given its urgency status.

A timeframe for submission of legal documents has been agreed upon by the two parties, lawyers representing Mr. Davis estimate that the hearing could take at least 4 days since they have substantial material which can help out their Silk Road case. They claim to be in possession of medical evidence showing that the accused suffers from a condition known as Asperger’s syndrome, and that extradition would only make his health condition to worsen.

Judge Paul McDermottChief Justice McDermott heard the issue and said that it would officially be argued out in the July 14th sitting, with the accused still having liberty to appeal a ruling after it’s been made in case any difficulties arise.

May 01

What Motivated Ross Ulbricht To Create Silk Road

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

Today, Ross Ulbricht is famous in the most macabre of ways. In his early 30’s, he is facing a long stretch in the criminal justice system for allegedly masterminding the then infamous online drug marketplace, the Silk Road. While most of us have read about Ulbricht, who went by the handle “Dread Pirate Roberts” in the darknet site, there are a lot of things a lot of people do not know, like what motivated him to go down that road? Well, it turns out that Ulbricht always had big dreams.

What Motivated Ross Ulbricht To Create Silk Road

Ross Ulbricht went to Texas State in Dallas where he studied physics. Later, he moved to Pennsylvania State, where he completed grad school. He was always an entrepreneurial soul, opting to go it alone in the job market with ventures in video games and day trading. However, his first forays into self-employment were not very successful, so he chose to take up something a little more….mundane?

His next destination was Good Wagon; a store that collected used books and distributed them around. Here, he created a system of shelves that held thick volumes of books. One decisively life-changing night, Ulbricht was alone in the store when the shelves went to the ground like a hose of cards and books, which in the literal sense of the phrase, they were. For him, this was the tipping point. He walked down the Silk Road and never looked back.

At Good Wagon, the young engineer had learned all there was to know about bitcoins, the foolproof currency that the Silk Road clients later came to use. In his journal, he states that it was always his dream to create a liberal economy, where the “systemic use of coercion” did not exist, comparing his idea to the emancipation of slaves around the world.

bitcoins

Just like that, Ulbricht started raking in millions from commissions for facilitating the sale of drugs, guns and fake identity documents on the Silk Road.

Today, Ross Ulbricht is a guest of the system, and it all begun with a falling stack of books. Maybe the Good Wagon was not so good at all; at least not for Ross.

Apr 30

The Fake Execution Of A Silk Road Employee

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silkroad 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

For years, Curtis Clark GreenFor years, Curtis Clark Green roamed freely in the illegal online marketplace, the Silk Road. He passed off as “Chronicpain” or “Flush” and assured other users that he could get them drugs like oxycodone and oxymorphone. In his own admission, the drug area was not a new one to him, as he admitted to plying the trade “for years” on mail .Over time, he developed close camaraderie with the owner of the site, who went by the handle the “Dread Pirate Roberts”. As the investigation on Ross Ulbricht’s connection to the Silk Road continues, revelations are emerging that Green was an administrator at the marketplace.

When law enforcement made the connection between the Silk Road and Curtis Green, they set up a dragnet and busted him for accepting drugs from an inspector who posed as a Silk Road dealer. Believing that he had been compromised, the Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR) ordered a hit on Flush. At the other end, the alleged “hit men” took charge of the situation, whose goal was to shut Chronicpain once and for good. Unknown to DPR, believed to be Ross Ulbricht, the alleged gun for hire was an agent working undercover for the government. The agent had managed this feat by posing on the site as a dealer offering said services.

bitcoinAccording to existing evidence, DPR paid for the “hit” in terms of bitcoins. The alleged sum, 40,000 bitcoins, went directly to a government account and plays a huge part in the Silk Road trial.

Government agents then set about convincing DPR that the hit had indeed taken place. They staged a murder, in which they showed Curtis Green sprawled, apparently dead by asphyxiation. After the confirmation, the online drug kingpin paid the rest of the agreed amount and took online to tell another user, CC-2, that the employee had been “wasted”.