DPR Offered A Doctor $500 Per Week For His Services

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Ross UlbrichtDread 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.

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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.

Doctor Fernando CaudevillaThe 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.

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