Drug Treatment Worker Who Sold Drugs on Silk Road, Pleads Guilty

Chicago drug treatment center employee, Kevin Campbell, is facing charges for selling drugs on Silkroad and other darknet marketplaces.

On February 3rd, 47-year old Kevin Campbell of Chicago pleaded guilty in a U.S. District Court in Seattle to charges for peddling illicit drugs on Silkroad, including heroin and prescription medications that led to the death of a 27-year old man living in Bellevue.

The Bellevue man died from an overdose after using heroin coupled with prescription drugs obtained from the Silkroad marketplace. Campbell is a drug treatment worker who decided to make some extra cash by selling heroin and prescription drugs on Silkroad, the infamous dark web marketplace. However, his get rich quick scheme turned into a tragedy following a customer’s overdose in August 2013.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

(>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<)

The Arrest

According to case record, the emergency crew received a distress call from a Bellevue home, where they found Jordan Mettee lying unconscious in his bedroom.

He was rushed to the hospital and was later pronounced dead. In Mettee’s home, the authorities found the Silkroad website open on his computer screen, which provided substantial evidence of where he had sourced the drugs and who the provider was.

A detailed exchange on the website between the vendor and the deceased revealed that Campbell was the Silkroad vendor who had provided the drugs.

Further investigation revealed that Campbell was an active drug dealer who supplied illicit substances, such as prescription drugs and heroin, to clients across the country through Silkroad’s platform in exchange for bitcoin.

The drugs were delivered in altered DVD cases, thus avoiding easy detection. An altered DVD case was found near the deceased body, and Campbell’s fingerprints were found on the case.

A search warrant was issued to search the Campbell’s residence, where concrete evidence of his drug trafficking activities was obtained.

Aside from the drugs themselves, other incriminating evidence was discovered, such as shipping and packaging equipment, measuring scales and devices, and empty DVD cases.

The Trial

In a press release, U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes mentioned that this case is both a tragedy and an outrage for allowing a drug trafficker to work at a drug treatment center, a place where drug addicts came to seek help.

Hayes further stressed that the heroin sold by the defendant through Silkroad killed a customer, and will request the court to give a sentence that reflects that fact.

Sale of Drugs on the Rise Even After Closure of SilkRoad

Drug treatment worker who decided to make some extra cash by selling heroin and prescription drugs on Silkroad.

Launched in 2011, Silkroad was one of the first modern darknet marketplaces that allowed users to access illegal drugs securely and anonymously without detection.

The original Silkroad site was shut down in 2013 with the arrest of its founder. More than 13,000 drug listings had been discovered from Silkroad.

Since then, the number of websites similar to Silkroad that sell drugs and other illicit merchandise has exponentially grown, with their preferred currency being bitcoin.

Verdict

Campbell’s case is not the first of its kind. In May 2014, Jenna White and her co-defendant Steven Sadler pleaded guilty to using the Silkroad marketplace to sell and distribute illegal substances.

Annette Hayes, the acting U.S Attorney, stated that Sadler had sold close to $1,000,000 USD worth of heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine through the Silkroad prior to the marketplace being shut down in 2013.

Evidence retrieved by the authorities at his residence included drugs, a firearm, and several thousand dollars. Sadler was ultimately given a five-year prison sentence.

Over the past few years, darknet marketplaces such as Silkroad have become a headache of the police and the judicial system due to their employment of new forms of technology to communicate and transact, making it difficult for authorities to handle.

Even after the shutdown of Silkroad website, the investigators established that Campbell found other avenues to sell drugs to customers. With such concrete evidence against him, Campbell may be facing heavy charges. He will be sentenced on May 9th, 2017.

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Silk Road Vendors Indicted for Online Drug Trafficking

Three major Silk Road drug vendors have been indicted on counts of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances across the United States and Australia.

The latest triumph for the US Drug Enforcement Agency involves the arrest and conviction of three high-profile Silk Road drug vendors.

The three, Julian Villa-Gomez Lemus, Fadhle Muqbel Saeed, and Alfonso Bojorquez were arraigned in a Florida court where they pleaded guilty of drug distribution using darknet markets such as Silk Road.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

31-year-old Lemus was the last of the three to be convicted within the same week for near-similar crimes that involved the sale of illicit substances.

Although they were all pinned for a catalogue of slightly dissimilar charges, the trio was ultimately linked to a similar charge, and that was the conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

It was a good week for the DEA, who spearheaded the investigations with the help of the now highly-resourceful USPIS, and the state of California where the three Silk Road drug vendors resided.

The Trio was Involved in a Drug Distribution Conspiracy

Each of the three Silk Road drug vendors was indicted on two counts, the first one being the conspiracy to distribute controlled substances such as marijuana, hydrocodone, and also methamphetamine.

The apparent associates were also charged with aiding and abetting each other and other drug vendors and criminals that remain unknown to the court.

Initially charged with the conspiracy to distribute only the three aforementioned substances, a subsequent announcement from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida revealed that the group was also heavily involved in the sale and distribution of steroids and cocaine as well.

The announcement revealed that the three were part of a drug trade that spread across the United States and some parts of Australia.

The Three Silk Road Drug Vendors Considered “Heavy Hitters” in the Digital Drug Trade

Drug trade that spread across the United States and some parts of Australia.

Based on the DEA’s testimony before the federal jury in Orlando, Florida, the trio was not a small-scale drug cartel.

They ran a massive drug empire using Silk Road as just one of their platforms, and, according to the DEA, had carried out a total of 1,300 transactions up to the point of arrest.

Purported to have started their operations back in October 2012, the trio had amassed a total of $1.9 million in their years of operation.

In addition to the upcoming sentences for the three, they will also have to forfeit the proceeds of their drug operation, which may be equivalent to the above-stated amount.

Questions Raised Over the Indictment of the Three Silk Road Drug Vendors

The indictment has sparked a lot of interest on Reddit (/r/DarkNetMarkets), with a lot of questions revolving around Fadhle Muqbel Saeed.

Arguably, most of the controversy is centered on why this particular Silk Road drug vendor, despite his numerous aliases on different darknet markets, had gone unnoticed by law enforcement for so long.

Consequently, the general consensus was that the government should have made the arrests a lot earlier considering the scale of the operation ran by the three convicts.

As a result, it took a substantial amount of time to go through all these three men’s associated cases.

For instance, Saeed’s profile came attached to three different monikers from three different darknet markets.

He went by the nicknames “darkexpresso,” “Damien Darko,” and “bonappetit” on his various accounts.

He was also ranked among the top 11% of drug vendors with 100% positive reviews on Silk Road, and had conducted an upwards of 300 transactions on Silk Road in the short span of a year.

Sentences to be Delivered Shortly

The six-count indictment holds a maximum sentence of up to 20 years for each of the men in a federal prison.

The men will be awaiting their respective sentences, which will be delivered on the March 23rd, 2017 according to Attorney A.

Lee Bentley the Third. The charges for all three men involved both their state of residence, California, and Florida where the hearing has been taking place.

The USPIS has been credited for being instrumental in the DEA’s investigation, which was set into motion on the May 11th, 2016 after being signed off on by the necessary authorities.

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“Free Ross” Has Been Hacked

-hack-
The Free Ross accounts were recently hacked by an unknown cyber criminal barely a month after the Free-Ross-A-Thon fundraiser was conducted.

Barely a month after the huge success that was the Free Ross-A-Thon fundraiser (which was co-hosted by a number of high-profile personalities alongside Ross’s mother, Lyn Ulbricht) was held, disaster struck.

Reports of the hacking of the email addresses, the Twitter account, the phone numbers, and worst of all, the Bitcoin and PayPal accounts linked to Free Ross came just a few weeks afterward.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

(>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<)

Fundraiser Had Garnered Close to $50,000

The Free Ross-A-Thon was dedicated to helping the family of the Silk Road founder raises about $14,000 in legal fees, which would be used to print Ross’s court appeal documents.

The fundraiser exceeded all expectations by a mile as the proceeds from well-wishers reached $23,500 before Roger Ver, a Bitcoin entrepreneur, matched Ross Ulbricht’s legal fees, bringing the total to $47,000.

Another significant contribution was made by the American Black Cross, a non-profit organization that seeks to help out political prisoners.

The founder, who also happens to be the man behind DefenseDistributed, donated $5,000 to the Silk Road founder’s cause.

The Hacking was announced on 31st December

The announcement was first made during the early morning hours of 31st December via the Free Ross Facebook account.

A similar notice was also put up on Reddit. They informed the public what had happened and asked well-wishers to stop sending in the donations using the normal channels until the matter was clarified.

Unfortunately, this message did not reach as far as it was intended since donations of 1.1 BTC were received in the original PayPal account after the notice was posted.

The blockchain indicated that the hack actually took place on 29th December when two amounts totaling to 20.4 BTC were withdrawn from the account on two separate occasions.

On the morning of the 31st December, shortly before the notice was posted, another withdrawal of 24.7 BTC was made.

Outrage over the Hacking of the Silk Road Founder’s Funds

email-hack
It is said that the hackers had managed to get access to the email account.

Roger Ver, the biggest contributor to the Silk Road founder’s cause, was openly upset over the hacking of the Free Ross accounts.

He let his outrage known through his Twitter account on the same day of the incident by posting a tweet which read in part: “hackers who target those who are already dealing with heartache deserve all our contempt” followed by a link to the Reddit post that warned well-wishers not to donate using the pre-established channels.

Ver was also visibly enraged by the incident as he showed on various Reddit comments, one of which showed his strong feelings towards the hackers who he felt should “burn in hell.”

Hackers Took Over Email Addresses for the Silk Road Initiative

It is said that the hackers had managed to get access to the Free Ross email account, which they had been using to solicit donations from well-wishers.

Ver had received one of such requests which he claimed was poorly put together in broken English.

The hackers are said to have been requesting donations from the well-wishers for another Free Ross meeting, this time a New Year’s party.

Google Helped Free Ross to Gain Control over their Account

On 3rd January, Lyn Ulbricht reported that they had managed to regain control over their previously hacked Gmail account and had managed to track down every last penny that had been donated towards the Silk Road founder’s cause.

She also reported that their PayPal account had not been hacked, that everything was in order and that well-wishers could resume sending their donations to the previously established bitcoin address.

Based on the success of the previous campaign, plans for the next Free-Ross-A-Thon are said to be in the works, and all pointers show that it might take place in 2017.

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Mistakes Made by Silk Road’s Dread Pirate Roberts

fbi
How the authorities busted the people behind the original Silk Road and Silk Road 2.0?

The original Silkroad and Silkroad 2.0 – these two sites may have avoided the authorities for quite some time, but now the two sites are demise – shut down by the FBI.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

So, how did the authorities caught the people behind Silkroad and Silkroad 2.0? In this article, we are going to explore that question.

The Idea

Before we address the main question, it’s best that we cover a few important details. Otherwise, you could end up backtracking on some information you might need to get grasp the entire picture.

At its core, the Silkroad was basically just like any other online store. However, what mainstream online stores can’t do is sell illicit merchandise or services.

There are basically two major problems when selling or purchasing items online. Let’s tackle the first one.

The first problem is identity. The mainstream internet is being monitored by the authorities. Everyone knows this. Hence, selling or purchasing illegal items may prove to be tough. Then, the solution came.

At some point, the Tor network was invented. The exact mechanism how the Tor network system works is beyond this article.

Yes, it can be very complex. For now, let’s just say that Tor can help you surf a special network, which is known as the Dark Web, anonymously.

With anonymity, you can free yourself from the worry of someone monitoring your surfing history. But here’s the second problem.

Money trail! Whenever you do a transaction, there’s always a money trail. This is particularly the case with digital money that came from the bank.

Even if you are anonymous when you purchase something illicit, the money can be traced back to you. That means that you could end up with a new cellmate. Then, the breakthrough came along.

Bitcoins! Bitcoins was the last piece of the puzzle that allowed Silkroad 1 and 2 to flourish.

Bitcoin is a form of online currency that allows anonymous currency transaction. After these two issues were solved, Silkroad was born, and the rest is history.

Now the question is – if the Tor network and Bitcoin currency provided the security by being anonymous, how did the Silkroad founder get busted?

Silkroad and Silkroad 2.0 Bust

dread-pirate-roberts
Months before Silkroad got popular, Ross Ulbricht was trying to spread the news of his new site; which was Silkroad.

First of all, nothing in this world is completely secure. Even the most secure network in the planet can be hacked.

It’s just a matter of allocating enough time and resources. Once we have that on the table, we can tackle the question a bit further.

The man behind the Silkroad was Ross Ulbricht a.k.a. “Dread Pirate Roberts” (DPR). He was the genius or the mastermind (depending on how you look at it) that married the idea of anonymous surfing and anonymous currency, thus creating an anonymous marketplace.

With Silkroad, one can actually sell anything. It’s just that the site was popularly used as a marketplace for illegal merchandise.

The idea of an anonymous currency and an anonymous network may be impressive, but the real reason Ross Ulbricht got busted was the plain old human error.

Months before Silkroad got popular, Ross Ulbricht was trying to spread the news of his new site; which was Silkroad. He did it by visiting forums sites.

In the forum posts, he left his email so anyone can contact him if anyone is interested. Here’s the thing – he publicly left an email with his name on it! This was the initial scent that the authorities followed, which eventually led to the fall of Silkroad 1. Now, how about Silkroad 2?

Silkroad 2.0 officially went up a month later after the shutdown of the original Silkroad. The man supposedly running Silkroad 2.0 was Blake Benthall, also known as “Defcon.” Here’s the thing – someone obviously didn’t learn their lesson.

When Silk Road 2.0 went up, the site can be traced to an anonymous server. In the server details, the authorities found out that the server was registered to a [email protected]! From then on, it’s Silk Road 1 all over again.

Bottom Line

There is no such thing as a 100% secure network on this planet. Even if you can create something that is truly secure, which is close to impossible, you still need humans to access it.

And that is the biggest security hole – human error. Just like Silk Road 1 and 2. Everyone thought that it would be a supercomputer doing complicated stuff to crack the site’s security.

When in fact, it’s actually a human error, like leaving an email unintentionally that will cause the first domino to fall down.

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American Black Cross Inspired by the Silk Road Creator’s Case

A charity organization known as American Black Cross was recently formed to help U.S. political prisoners attain freedom; the group says their inspiration came from Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht’s case; many people still believe he’s a political prisoner jailed for victimless crimes.

Bitcoin users are encouraged to donate towards their noble cause which champions the release of such unfairly imprisoned people.

All contributions will help in fighting the war on drugs, victimless charges and also promote overall internet freedom.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

The American Black Cross has been formed to champion the rights of political prisoners, especially those who have been jailed for victimless crimes.
The American Black Cross has been formed to champion the rights of political prisoners, especially those who have been jailed for victimless crimes.

Ulbricht was given a double life imprisonment sentence for hosting Silk Road, a darknet marketplace that dealt in prohibited drugs.

The war on drugs has ruined the lives of many individuals and their families.

It started in the 1980s when the government launched a campaign dubbed “Say No to Drugs,” this operation saw the U.S. prison population multiply by up to 5 times.

Statistics show that around 86% of the entire population of prisoners in federal incarceration are jailed for victimless crimes; these charges include drug offenses, public disorder and other illegal activities that don’t infringe directly on other citizens’ rights.

Ross Ulbricht is the most widely recognized figure arrested for a victimless crime; he was arrested in October 2013 for operating the Silk Road drug marketplace.

Despite his incarceration, many cryptocurrency users and those within the libertarian communities hold it that Ross’ trial lacked fairness, plus the prison sentence was quite extreme.

Apart from receiving a double life sentence, the Silk Road founder was also not given a chance for parole.

Ulbricht’s family believes their son was hurriedly prosecuted without any solid evidence from the government on the Silk Road case; they claim it was a legal atrocity and have since been campaigning for his release, including millions of other people who have been jailed for victimless crimes.

Ross’ family has fully endorsed American Black Cross; they recently reminded well-wishers at the end of 2016 that one of the ways they can help Ulbricht is by making tax-deductible donations to the organization.

Founded in 2015, the 501 (c)(3) nonprofit charity organization’s main goal is championing the rights of U.S political prisoners, a class of individuals that’s rapidly growing by the day.

The institution accepts payment in various forms such as bitcoin donation and credit card transfers; all funds are channeled towards legal aid as well as defense funding for criminal charges where certain civil rights have been denied.

Political prisoners or their respective families can submit their requests for help from the charitable organization.

If you’re facing a victimless indictment similar to the Silk Road, or represent a person who was imprisoned while resisting the federal government, Black Cross can offer some assistance, especially if you believe the case might have a greater impact beyond the litigants’ interests.

All submissions would be checked by the Review Committee for consideration, and if they believe your case is strong enough some assistance or funding will be provided.

A charity organization known as American Black Cross was recently formed to help U.S. political prisoners attain freedom; the group says their inspiration came from Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht’s case
A charity organization known as American Black Cross was recently formed to help U.S. political prisoners attain freedom; the group says their inspiration came from Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht’s case

The American Black Cross consists of a group of volunteers and human rights activists, whose main goal is to defend the prisoners of American Imperium such as Ross Ulbricht of Silk Road, promote humanitarian relief and also abolish the nation’s industrial jail systems.

According to them, Black Cross acts as a civil liberties protection organization, focused on defending those who’ve opposed repressive government policies via the internet.

Their recent plan currently is committing funds towards assisting the legal efforts of the incarcerated Silk Road creator.

The organization considers Ulbricht’s conviction bitterly unfair and is actively involved in helping him with the ongoing appeal.

Political cases like that of Silk Road have a tendency of shaping precedence in future rulings; that’s the reason why many people in the cryptocurrency community are supporting Ulbricht and Free Ross organization.

Various aspects of the case including investigations, arrest, server shutdown and even double life sentencing leave a lot of questions to be asked.

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An Art Campaign for the Silk Road Founder

Three years ago, in October 2013, Ross Ulbricht was working at a public library in San Francisco when he was surrounded and arrested by federal agents of a special crime division.

He was detained for a short time before being sent to New York to face trial for starting, administering, and running the Silk Road darknet marketplace.

He was later found guilty of perpetrating and promoting the sale of drugs on the marketplace and sentenced to a life imprisonment with little to no chances of parole.

This marked the beginning of a spirited campaign by his supporters which seeks to free him or at least lessen the punitive life sentence.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

Supporters are making and sharing their art for the Silk Road founder, Ross Ulbricht, in "Art 4 Ross" campaign.
Supporters are making and sharing their art for the Silk Road founder, Ross Ulbricht, in “Art 4 Ross” campaign.

However, a few weeks after Ross was convicted for his role in the administration and operation of the Silk Road, some increasingly worrisome details regarding the case were leaked.

This includes allegations of corruption among the lead investigators from the Drug Enforcement Agency who were tasked with the responsibility of finding compelling evidence against Ross Ulbricht.

The arrest and conviction of the Silk Road founder saw his mother Lyn Ulbricht turn into a passionate activist and thousands of supporters – mostly libertarians – joined her cause.

Nonetheless, it is one of the most recent campaigns from the “Free Ross” team that has gathered an online storm lately.

The campaign, which is dubbed as “Art 4 Ross” taps into one of Ulbricht’s unique interests especially in drawing, solving puzzles and arts.

Now, through the hashtag #Art4Ross on Twitter, Ross’ supporters have shared their art in solidarity with the movement.

The art titled “The Trial I Saw” is a microcosm of the conviction from his perspective which apparently only took three weeks to be concluded.
The art titled “The Trial I Saw” is a microcosm of the conviction from his perspective which apparently only took three weeks to be concluded.

While in prison, the Silk Road founder has made an artwork that has been turned into a fun game.

Content wise, it makes use of an array of photos and drawings that seek to highlight the plight of Ross predicaments.

The art titled “The Trial I Saw” is a microcosm of the conviction from his perspective which apparently only took three weeks to be concluded.

Supporters of the Silk Road drug online bazaar creator can make their donations by simply playing the “Free Ross” game for a $1 per click to reveal a grid of each pixelated square.

One can either choose to reveal a single square at a go or make bulk selections of 10, 25 or 50 squares at a time.

Recently, the Art 4 Ross campaign picked up steam as the news surfaced that Dread Pirate Robert’s Silk Road forum account was still active even after Ross’ arrest.

Lyn Ulbricht has since made an official statement in the light of these new findings terming it as “one of the clearest signs of evidence tampering and corruption” in Ross’ case.

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The Silk Road Creator In His Prison Journey

Ulbricht, shares his prison experience through letter and poem.
Ulbricht, shares his prison experience through letter and poem.

Ross Ulbricht recently sent a letter and a poem that gave his supporters and family an in-depth revelation of his true character and personality.

The Silk Road founder, in the poem written by William Henley, described that the phase he was going through in his life was as dark as night. Ross uses the poem and letter to reveal the gratitude he felt towards a sovereign being for the strength in his soul.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

Ross, through the poem and letter, illustrates that he just happened to be a victim of circumstance but still chose to remain strong.

Ross still chooses to remain unwavering by the waves of injustice. The poem states “my head is bloody but unbowed.” The Silk Road founder chooses to have hope and belief in his inner strength.

The poem describes the future as unpredictable, but he still refuses to feel afraid of what the future held for him.

He's grateful and steadfast in his belief, despite everything his soul shall overcome.
He’s grateful and steadfast in his belief, despite everything his soul shall overcome.

Despite all the Silk Road founder was going through, he describes himself through the poem to still be in control of his destiny and life, even behind bars.

Ross Ulbricht, the Silk Road creator, in his letter, stated that the poem literally described his life in prison and helped him grow more steadfast in his fight for justice.

Ross narrates in his letter that since he got to prison, the perspective of his life became a little bit thinner than before.

He says that his contact with the outside world was limited to an hour visit each week, 300 minutes phone call, letters and whatever was in the media.

Ross Ulbricht comments on the diet that it was not what he would have preferred but still was grateful for life.

Ross Ulbricht also described in his letter that he went into isolation for the first 6 weeks as he tried to adjust to his new life. Ross says that the difference between the life he was used to outside and the locked up kind of life was too vivid.

He began to swallow in his reality when he was set free from the solitary to the general population. The Silk Road creator states that it was when the war within him truly began.

Ross Ulbricht, the Silk Road founder, describes in his letter that the life in prison was boring. He says there were only but a few things that could distract him from the harsh reality.

Ross states that he worked on his defense; he played games of ping pong and read quite a lot.

Ross in his letter even said that he started practicing yoga, and consequently, the distractions became less effective giving room to panic.

Ross says that in prison, many before him had been in the same state, causing them to venture into distractions like gambling, while a fraction became slaves of their misery.

However, the Silk Road founder talks in his letter of a few inmates who made a positive and profound impact in his life behind bars.

Ross tells of his new acquaintance, who had already served twelve years of his time in maximum security facility.

Ross noticed that the guy was never in a rush and that whenever they interacted, they had quite long chats that were never boring.

The Silk Road founder acknowledges the fact that his new prisoner friend taught him how to accept and face the situation he was currently facing.

He even gave Ross a few tips on how to conquer his fears, which Ross Ulbricht says marked a turning point in his life behind bars. It set him on a journey of acceptance and inevitable growth.

Ross Ulbricht, in the letter, wrote that he now realized that even being contained behind bars, the authorities had no say over his soul.

The only souvenir he had of the outside world, were memories that he could refer to quench his nostalgic bouts.

In conclusion, in the letter Ross Ulbricht sent, he even mentioned that he was still grateful for the life he was living and he loved it.

Ross says that the other inmates thought he was crazy when he talked passionately about that life, but Ross Ulbricht reminds them that it was the only way he could get through it, by accepting his reality even if he never got the chance to walk free again.

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Bitcoin Entrepreneur Linked to Silk Road Talks about his Prison Experience

Charlie Shrem, the co-founder of the now defunt bitcoin exchange, BitInstant, was released from prison a few months ago. He knowingly transmitted money used to facilitate criminal activities on Silkroad.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

Charlie Shrem, the founder of BitInstant shares his past and prison experience after being released.
Charlie Shrem, the founder of BitInstant shares his past and prison experience after being released.

Silkroad

Silkroad was a darknet marketplace where drug dealers bought and sold illicit drugs. Users of Silkroad used the cryptocurrency bitcoin to conduct transactions. The original Silkroad was shutdown in October 2013.

Charlie Shrem

All through his childhood, Shrem had a special interest in technology, computers to be precise. He was a geek.

The bitcoin entrepreneur began his entrepreneurship journey at quite an early age. At only 18 years old, he founded the Daily Checkout, an online platform where he sold refurbished goods.

It was during his college education that Shrem encountered the laissez-faire school of thought, and the possible elimination of government and third party intervention.

He then decided to put the economics theory to practice, through the cryptocurrency bitcoin.

Bitcoin is simply a digital currency that enables transactions to be carried out without government or third party intervention, exclusively used on the Silkroad website.

Shrem in an interview, revealed that he first heard about the concept of bitcoin on an online forum that he was a member of.

At that time, there wasn’t any website or anything, only a white paper referred to the research paper released under the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakimoto, which he said unveiled the concept.

Bitcoin Entrepreneur Linked to Silk Road Talks about his Prison Experience
Bitcoin Entrepreneur Linked to Silk Road Talks about his Prison Experience

Nevertheless, Shrem’s curiosity was awakened, and he, therefore, proceeded to purchase bitcoins. He bought a few thousand bitcoins that were not worth much that time.

Consequently, he brainstormed and finally found a way of making the purchasing of bitcoins much faster and accessible to consumers, that it became popular on Silkroad.

That marked the dawn of the Bitcointalk.org, through which he managed to launch BitInstant.

Charlie Shrem partnered with payment processors that had physical locations such as at Duane Reade, CVS, Walmart, Walgreens and even 7-11.

The online site enabled consumers to purchase small amounts of bitcoins, with an average ticket size costing about $300-500. They then charged a small fee for each transaction. Such transactions were of huge amounts on Silkroad.

The concept gained popularity and in a few months, BitInstant made millions of dollars also through Silkroad transactions.

People were able to purchase the bitcoins from all over the States. Tremendous growth was experienced and Shrem confessed to having transacted transactions worth a million dollars in one day, as Silkroad users grew by the day.

The lucrative growth definitely attracted investors. It caught the attention of investors like the Winklevoss twins and Roger Vere.

Shrem admitted during the interview that they experienced huge growth over a span of few months. However, he let success get to his head. He began to drink too much.

The fall of BitInstant was as rapid as its rise. In the period of March 2013, new legislation that defined and outlined what institutions were to be regarded as money transmitters.

BitInstant, with its cryptocurrency, was operating without a license hence had to shut down its dealings. Shrem said they could not risk operating illegally.

Several months later, when Shrem was traveling to Amsterdam to speak at a conference, he was intercepted at the JKF airport by dozens of law enforcement officials, among them the FBI, IRS, and DEA.

Silkroad Bitcoin Transactions

silkroad-bitcoin-transactions
Bitcoin Transactions

The police accused him to have knowingly facilitated bitcoin transactions to Robert Faiella, whose clients were using Silkroad.

Silkroad was an online website where drug dealers bought and sold illicit drugs using bitcoin.

Shrem’s undoing was that he knew of the illegal dealings, but did not file a single report with the United States Treasury Department about Faiella’s illicit activity on Silkroad.

He pleaded guilty when arraigned in court and was sentenced to serve two years in prison for indirectly helping to sell $1M in bitcoins to Silkroad users.

Shrem on podcast speaks of his prison experience. He says that it was no country club. Where he says one out of every ten inmates was a white-collar criminal; senator, judge, few law enforcement officials were among his group.

The fear Shrem says wasn’t as great as in the maximum security prisons as the inmates were non-violent.

The bitcoin entrepreneur confessed that behind bars, he found life difficult. There was no Google or internet, which the computer geek so much relied on.

The information went round by word of mouth. However, his firm belief in cryptocurrency was strengthened, even as Silkroad was no more, while in prison by one thing.

He says that prison also had its own form of currency, bartering mackerels, like bitcoins for Silkroad users then. This was because the inmates were not allowed any form of cash.

Now out of prison, bitcoin no longer has the hype as it had before. The rise of the bitcoin entrepreneur was as swift as his fall.

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Captcha Not Working on Silk Road 3.0

Users on the Silkroad 3.0 are complaining that they are having captcha issue on the site. Initially, captcha was working just fine, and one could even drag it into a new tab and jot it down.

However, a few moments later after submission people started noticing increased loading times, later followed by total rejection of their submitted data which was labeled as “incorrect.”

Putting the code on a new tab is also not working for most people; neither changing their Tor identity.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

Silkroad 3.0 has developed a captcha problem that’s making it difficult for people to log in; the issue might have been caused by a temporary maintenance.
Silkroad 3.0 has developed a captcha problem that’s making it difficult for people to log in; the issue might have been caused by a temporary maintenance.

Most people are reporting total frustration and anxiety with this particular situation.

All attempts to log in simply result in a full restart of the page, followed by a message indicating that information provided is inappropriate.

Due to their frustration, many Silkroad 3.0 users have tried all manner of techniques to solve the captcha problem, such as using different VPN and image drag trick. But unfortunately, none of them has been successful.

Nevertheless, there are those who are more optimistic claiming that the servers might be down, and once they come back up again, things would be fine.

They say Silkroad 3.0 is probably doing some temporary maintenance work which will soon be over.

But this is unlikely considering that the Silkroad forum is also down.

Though things are not looking good for Silkroad 3.0 traders, there seems to have been a previous warning sign which people didn’t take quite seriously.

Silk Road 3.0 Captcha Not Working
Silk Road 3.0 Captcha Not Working

Before the captcha problem arose, the messaging system was slow, and there also seems to have been an increased surge of traffic, resulting in orders being queued long hours for processing.

These were clear indications that there was a problem somewhere forthcoming.

Most people who tried placing orders during this period before the Silkroad login issues emerged experienced hours of delay in processing, probably because there was a surge of too many individuals buying at the same time.

For a moment, some individuals were able to get past the captcha issue, though later on they were rebooted off and taken back to login page, which according to them was really weird.

It’s also emerging that there’s a site that can close down urls for up to four days, in order to track data typed in by users.

This is probably why people are finding it hard to access the Silkroad login page because the captcha code serves as a form of protection for the site.

However, not everybody is satisfied with these particular developments; they claim the problem has caused them a lot of money, particularly considering that they seem to be re-emerging over and over again with time.

As the issue persists, some people have tried getting into the Silkroad 3.0 site by using three different Tor identities, luckily one of the hidden searches showed a Silkroad page.

Though users could access it, the site looked strange and had a green background instead of the normal black and blue.

Some users could login in from their typical Silkroad 3.0 username and password, thus making it difficult to understand what was really going on.

Despite this, other users raised concern that it might be a fake replica of the Silkroad 3.0 and hence people should tread carefully.

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A Re-Cap of the Free Ross-A-Thon Event

Free Ross-A-Thon was an event held and organized by a group of liberty activists that included the Bitcoin community, Ross Ulbricht’s family and supporters. Ulbricht, the creator of Silk Road, an online marketplace that was used to peddle illicit drugs, was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

A recap of what happen in the Free Ross-A-Thon event held on Dec. 4, 2016.
A recap of what happen in the Free Ross-A-Thon event held on Dec. 4, 2016.

Following a recently discovered piece of evidence by Ross Ulbricht’s defense team, they discovered that someone logged into the “Dread Pirates Roberts” Silk Road forum account weeks after the arrest of Ross Ulbricht.

This formed a ground for appeal against the Silk Road creator’s life sentence.

The Free Ross-A-Thon was held on Sunday, the 4th of December, 2016. The aim was to preach and advocate for freedom and justice.

It was also held with an aim to raise money to cater for Ross Ulbricht’s appeal court bills.

The cost for printing and binding of appeal documents is $14,000, a quite huge amount for Ross’ family to raise alone.

That is why Ross Ulbricht’s mother, Lyn Ulbricht, together with liberty activist, Tatiana Moroz, organized the Free Ross-A-Thon event for the Silk Road founder.

Also invited to speak at the event were keynote speakers, Jeffrey Tucker and Roger Ver.

The Free Ross-A-Thon event that took almost 8 hours was filmed at the LaffCast Studio. A lot of issues were discussed during the event to free the Silk Road founder.

The speakers discussed the possible consequences of the Ulbricht’s case and the lasting impression it would have in the history of precedents.

Further, the negative impacts it would have on the general privacy rights and the rights to a fair due process of the common American citizen, not just Ross Ulbricht.

During the event, a platform was given for each of the speakers to have an in-depth analysis of the case facing the Silk Road creator, Ross Ulbricht. The public was also informed of other related legal and social issues that arose.

The Free Ross-A-Thon was interesting and very captivating. The online speakers at the event covered a wide agenda that included liberty, privacy, legal issues and the current criminal justice system.

Furthermore, during an interview, Tatiana Moroz, the songwriter and liberty activist who helped host the event, said that the most meaningful part of the event was the letter that Ross wrote to his supporters and all the persons who graced the event, not forgetting those who gave their contribution.

Tatiana stated that Ross in his letter was very grateful to his friends, family, and supporters. Ross Ulbricht said in his letter that they gave him hope and the strength to believe that a day is coming that he will walk a free man again.

Tatiana at the interview commented that the Free Ross-A-Thon event drew the attention of other liberty activists and people who believed in the ideology of justice and freedom.

Tatiana Moroz continued to urge the public through the interview, to keep themselves abreast with the facts of Ross Ulbricht’s case.

This was because the decision made at the appeal will set a precedent that will most definitely impact the criminal justice system hence have an effect on the society as well in years to come.

Lyn Ulbricht, mother of Ross Ulbricht, alleged Silk Road Creator.
Lyn Ulbricht, mother of Ross Ulbricht, alleged Silk Road Creator.

Lyn Ulbricht was also interviewed, and the mother’s love for her son was evident in the way she seemed hopeful even as the light of the case seemed dim.

She said that the generous financial donations from people all over the world meant a lot and that it encouraged Ross Ulbricht and his family to forge ahead and fight for freedom.

Lyn Ulbricht also said they already raised $23,500 from people around the world. It would be helpful in clearing the bill for appeal case and pay for other Ross Ulbricht’s legal expenses.

Further, she said that towards the end of the Free Ross-A-Thon event, Roger Ver announced that he would match the donations for Ross Ulbricht.

That, to Lyn Ulbricht, was a very touching and brave gesture that demonstrated how committed he was to liberty.

In a nutshell, the Free Ross-A-Thon was more than successful. People sent donations in all forms of currency towards the appeal case of Ross Ulbricht, the Silk Road founder.

It was during the event also, that Ulbricht, through his letter, together with his mother, Lyn Ulbricht and his family got a chance to thank the supporters for believing not only in him but also showing the dedication towards justice and liberty.

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