Silk Road Undercover Agents Accused Of Stealing Bitcoin

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BitcoinsTwo former federal agents have recently been charged with the crime of stealing over $800,000 worth of bitcoin from the defunct online black marketplace Silk Road while carrying out their duties. These two were special agents working with the Baltimore Silk Road Task Force, which led the investigations that culminated in the 2013 shutdown of this darknet website, along with the arrest of Ross Ulbricht aka Dread Pirates Roberts, the man who was recently convicted of running Silk Road.


Shaun Bridges, formerly of the US Secret Service is accused of taking $800,000 worth of bitcoins via an account he gained control of during the investigations carried out on this online black marketplace. He is alleged to have transferred the funds to his own personal account while working as a computer forensics expert in the investigation. The DOJ complaint made against him claims that he utilized the special access he obtained by spearheading the arrest of Curtis Green; one the administrator of Silk Road who used the alias “Flush”. The complaint asserts that Bridges or someone who worked in his place used the information on Flush’s account together with another one that wasn’t specified to steal 20,000 bitcoins worth $350,000.

Silk Road MarketplaceCarl Force formerly of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and who was the lead undercover agent in the investigation is also accused with the same charges. Force was given the responsibility of initiating communications with Dread Pirates Roberts, the Silk Road administrator, but is alleged to have used this privilege for his own personal motives. He is accused of selling DPR information on the ongoing investigation, using the unauthorized alias of “French Maid” for which he was paid $100,000 while at the same time he made use of his authorized alias of “Nob” to get a total 925 bitcoins worth $90,000 paid in two installments in exchange for information. Nob posed as a drug smuggler operating in the US claiming to possess extensive criminal connections across the globe. However, according to Force’s official statement he claimed he did not receive any money from DPR.

He is also accused of investing and also working for an online bitcoin exchange firm, CoinMKT, where he is alleged to have used his clout as a DEA agent to assist this firm to conduct criminal checks on their clients. Which ultimately enabled him to freeze one client’s account, the proceeds from which he transferred to his own personal account. Force is also accused of sending an unlawful DOJ subpoena to an online payment firm containing a request to unfreeze his own personal account.

All in all, according to the DOJ complaint, Shaun Bridges faces charges of fraud and money laundering. Carl Force faces similar charges in addition to stealing government property as well as conflict of interest. The laptop confiscated from Ross Ulbricht and containing evidence that was used against him in his trial, is also said to have evidence that will be used against these two former federal agents. This includes details on chats they had with Silk Road administrator, Dread Pirates Roberts (Ulbricht), along with others that can prove invaluable in their eventual conviction.

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