Curtis Clark Green, a high-level employee of Silkroad, was recently served a light sentence by the U.S. District Court in Baltimore for his role in running the site. As a senior website administrator of Silkroad, Curtis was awaiting the sentence since he pleaded guilty in 2013 when the illegal drug marketplace was brought down by FBI authorities. He was sentenced to the time served – of two days he spent in jail – after he was arrested. The sentence also included a period of four years of supervised release. Curtis Green’s attorney, Mary Corporon from Salt Lake City said that a light sentence was handed over because he chose to cooperate with the authorities during the investigation related to the case.
Arrest of Curtis Green
Curtis Clark Green was arrested in January 2013 when he received a package of cocaine delivered to him by an undercover U.S. Postal Service inspector. He was caught when his home was raided and he was found to possess a kilogram of the illegal drug. The raiders also found $18,000 in cash, an online account with a bitcoin exchange named Mt. Gox, and a cell phone. When arrested it was expected that he would be sentenced at least for years with a potential maximum of 40 years for the charges.
Curtis Clark Green was then the senior website administrator of Silkroad, an illegal marketplace for drugs. Ross Ulbricht was the key operator and owner of Silkroad and he is currently serving a life sentence in prison on charges of money laundering, conspiracy to traffic narcotics, and computer hacking.
Green had been hired as a senior website administrator for Silkroad. His job involved registration of complaints from Silkroad users and clarifying their queries. It has been alleged that Ross Ulbricht had arranged Green’s killing after his arrest. He set up a deal and purportedly had $40,000 wired to the agents for the killing. The agents, in turn, sent back staged photos of the administrator being tortured and killed. The agents also claimed that Green’s body was destroyed to remove all evidence.
Soon after this incident, Curtis Green was kept out of sight till the time Ulbricht, the Silkroad owner, was apprehended by the authorities in a library in October the same year. Green, known by online aliases such as “chronic pain” and “flush” in the Silkroad operations has pleaded guilty of conspiracy and illegal possession and distribution of cocaine.
Arrest of Curtis Green – The Fallout
It is believed by Silkroad case observers that the arrest of Curtis Green and his staged death, and the inadvertent mistakes committed by Ulbricht following his arrest, may have led to the fall of the website. His cooperation with the investigating agencies and the considerable amount of information that he provided to them played a key role in the closure of the illegal website. The arrest of Curtis Green and the events that took place afterwards will certainly throw light on the procedure that the government adopted to bring down Silkroad. A single miscalculation on the part of Curtis Green of providing his home address when he decided to act as the middleman for a cocaine purchase is believed to have been instrumental in bringing down the entire Silkroad website. It is also supposed that his cooperation with the authorities led to the light sentence that was awarded to him.
In the months that followed Green’s arrest, the investigating authorities started to tighten the noose around Silkroad and its operator. Court documents, however, do not suggest that any information was provided by Green that led to further discoveries of Silkroad and its operations.
It also emerged during the investigation that the Silkroad administrator had endured a drug prosecution once earlier in his life, had filed for bankruptcy, was victim of a degenerative medical condition and had a failed business attempt to his record.
In this context it is interesting to note that two federal agents, who were part of the investigating team, were given prison terms for stealing hundreds of thousands of bitcoins while on the case.