Silk Road Judge’s Finding Narrows the Case Against Indicted Site’s Mastermind

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Ross Ulbricht and DrugsThe trial of the founder of Silkroad is scheduled to begin next month and federal prosecutors are likely to use narcotics sales carried out by the website as evidence against Ross Ulbricht. They may also present his fake IDs and emails related to murder-for-hire allegations. However, they cannot present each one of the illegal activities allegedly carried out by him on the website, according to the ruling given by a federal judge at a hearing this Wednesday. In fact, the findings of Katherine Forrest, a U.S. District Judge, narrow down the government’s case against the alleged Silkroad founder.

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BitcoinAccording to the indictment, the website Silkroad allegedly involved in anonymous, difficult-to-trace Bitcoin transactions and facilitated sales of hundreds of kilograms of not only illegal drugs, but also other illicit goods as well as services to more than hundred thousand buyers around the world. Additionally, prosecutors are of the belief that Dread Pirate Roberts is the pseudonym of the website’s owner.

In the final Silkroad pre-trail conference, Forrest said that the prosecutors are conspiring to provide too much evidence against Ulbricht. She added that the prosecutors’ theory is troubling and extraordinarily broad as the indictment presents a large number of wares under the same allegation.

Joshua Dratel, the lawyer representing the alleged Silkroad founder, had raised an objection to this aspect of the case as well and argued that this proved that Silkroad followed a hands-off approach when it came to what the website users sold. He compared the prosecution of the Silkroad to charging AT&T, or even landlords, for liaising with drug dealers using either their phones or living in the buildings owned by them.

Though Dratel has been successful in narrowing the scope of case against Ulbricht, he has been unsuccessful in barring some of the evidences against him that are more sensational. Forrest ruled that the fake IDs allegedly bought by Ulbricht on Silkroad make fair ground for trial and that evidence could be made use of to prove both his trial of a sampling of the goods and consciousness of guilt. However, the judge forbade both sides from making comments on the libertarian politics supposedly propounded by Ulbricht.

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