U.S. Government Nets $48M from Sale of Seized Silk Road Bitcoins

After several years of uncertainty, the United States government has finally claimed the $48 million in funds earned from the Silk Road, a notorious online drug marketplace whose operations were terminated in 2013.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road is BACK ONLINE NOW as Silk Road 3.1 and open for business. The team did a change and upgrade for a reason we can only assume for security.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.1 Guide <<

FBI agent gathers evidence
The U.S. government has finally claimed $48 million brought in after the infamous Silk Road was seized by the feds in 2013.

In the successful government raid of the market, the authorities seized 144,336 Bitcoins, all which were auctioned off in 2014 and 2015.

The delay in receiving these auction proceeds came courtesy of numerous lawsuits from none other than Ross Ulbricht, the initial operator of the Silk Road online platform that sought to contest the legitimacy of seizing the units.

Nonetheless, Ulbricht has subsequently decided not to proceed with his claims, which therefore means that the U.S. government, through its Department of Justice, is now $48 million “richer.”

The Silk Road Takedown

Silk Road was a dark web marketplace which served as a hub for anonymous transactions for numerous forms of illegal activities and products, particularly narcotics.

Ross Ulbricht, who was then the principal figure associated with the operations of the Silk Road, disguised himself as the moniker of the “Dread Pirate Roberts,” a character adapted from the film The Princess Bride.

The site started off as a typically anonymous venture, which mandated for word-of-mouth communications to gain access.

Even so, this site grew in popularity with Ulbricht accepting an interview by Forbes. Eventually, the site caught the attention of authorities who later on brought down the famed platform together with its original operator, the Dread Pirate Roberts.

In 2015, Ulbricht was sentenced to life imprisonment after the jury convicted him of charges of hacking, money laundering and illicit drug trafficking.

He recently withdrew his lawsuit seeking to bar the U.S. government from not only selling the cryptocurrency for cash but also forfeiting the resulting funds to satisfy their legal suits against him.

Paul Grant, the attorney to Ulbricht, confirmed that the U.S. Department of Justice would allocate the funds for general use—an act that he referred to as “sad for justice.”

In May of this year, a life sentence and jury conviction against Ulbricht was upheld by the Second Circuit court after he had challenged the ruling.

His decision to appeal the conviction was motivated by the fact that his prosecutors had conducted unlawful electronic searches to make a case against him, not to mention the fact that purportedly corrupt federal agents had attempted to draw on the investigation to disguise their intentions of extorting cryptocurrency units.

Grant later confirmed that he and his client were exploring legal means to overturn both the sentence and conviction.

As per the prosecutors’ claims, Ulbricht launched the Silk Road back in 2011, then permitting users to buy computer hacking software, illegal drugs and other illicit products.

Before officers brought its operations to an end in October 2013, the site used an exclusive Bitcoin payment system to carry out the transactions, a factor that ensured customers’ identities remained anonymous.

By the time the authorities burst its operations, numerous individuals had succumbed to drug overdose courtesy of the narcotics purchased from this site.

Prosecutors later tied these deaths to Ulbricht, who had evaded the authorities innumerable times under the codename “Dread Pirate Roberts” and later ditched the play and sympathized with the victims.

Still, authorities were able to tie him to another serious crime as well.

It was stated that he had tried to petition murder-for-hire cases against his blackmailer, among other enemies, at a total cost of $730,000.

Young FBI agent in uniform
FBI tracked him through several forged documents

The operation did bear fruit when the Federal Bureau of Investigations was able to track him down through assessing several forged identification documents in various packages originating in Canada and heading to a similar address back in San Francisco, California.

The Silk Road was subsequently shut down (although other versions later cropped up) and the suspect, Ross Ulbricht, was consequently sentenced to a life imprisonment without any possibility of parole for charges of conspiracy to trafficking narcotics, computer hacking, and money laundering.

Timing is Ever Crucial           

Finally, and this is where most Bitcoin holders will incessantly lament, by selling the 144,336 units at $334 for each in 2014 and 2015, the U.S. government has pocketed $48 million.

Surprisingly, had they waited until just after Ulbricht had finally dropped his legal claim about the unlawful seizure, the headlines would now be reading “U.S. Government Claims $630 million” for those same units.

Nevertheless, there is little information on exactly where this $48 million bankroll will go.

While federal agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the FBI or even the Department of Treasury might be the potential benefactors, it is only best to assume that this money will not be put to proper use since the federal government is never really one for financial responsibility when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

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Mother’s Latest Update on Her Son, Ross Ulbricht

It has been four years after the famous Silk Road was shut down by the FBI, and customers who benefitted from the website have moved to other leading darknet market platforms—bidding adieu to the dark web marketplace to excel their businesses elsewhere.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road is BACK ONLINE NOW as Silk Road 3.1 and open for business. The team did a change and upgrade for a reason we can only assume for security.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.1 Guide <<

male inmate behind prison bars
Lyn Ulbricht, the mother of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, speaks of the flaws in the justice system and offers details about her son’s present life.

While ex-Silk Road users found a new home at emerging marketplaces in the absence of the site, a fierce trial was taking place in the U.S. court system to bring down the market’s founder, Ross Ulbricht, who ran the Silk Road under the alias “Dread Pirate Roberts.”

After pleading guilty to drug-related charges, Ulbricht received a life sentence verdict. This left his mother, Lyn Ulbricht, distraught yet determined to reverse the ruling through the appellate courts.

For two years, she tirelessly worked to rally up enough support for her son’s appeal but, ultimately, she did not succeed. Earlier this year, a Second Circuit judge rejected the life sentence appeal.

Only a few months after Ross lost his life sentence appeal, Lyn confirmed that she had filed a rehearing with the Second Circuit panel.

As the name suggests, this filing requests the court that they should reconsider the verdict. But the court denied the request in August.

At this point, most professionals and lawyers do believe that it is not possible to change the verdict on Ross’s case.

Latest Updates on Ross, Lyn’s Candid Talk

At present, Ross Ulbricht is in prison without any chances of parole. His mother is persistent in working to change the U.S. judicial system and the way it treated her son.

In a recent public appearance, she revealed some detail about what went on during these years, opening up about her son’s life inside prison and the things she wants to see changed.

Life Inside Prison

Being the doting mother and son duo, Ross and Lyn have kept in touch throughout these years as she campaigned for his prison release and gathered supporters through the Free Ross movement.

Speaking about Ross’ life inside prison, Lyn confirmed that even though he had to spend three and half years in a New York prison institution, it is much better to be in the Colorado facility where Ross is currently located.

She also said that the New York prison is a transitional facility and never designed for long-term living, whereas the Colorado institution is much more spacious and inhabitable. It’s a high and maximum security prison, but not supermax.

Lyn felt that Ross should never be in a high-security prison because his crimes are non-violent but because of his long-term sentence, he is forced to be there.

Even if the judge had given him a sentence less than 30 years, he could be in a medium security prison. He has never been harmful in any way to be there, she added.

An Unfair Judgment for Silk Road Creator

mallet of judge
Her mother was dissatisfied with the justice system.

Lyn Ulbricht is extremely dissatisfied with the justice system for giving her son such a harsh punishment for a non-violent crime.

She felt that the FBI and law enforcement officials wanted to make an example out of him, forcing him to bear the burden of other darknet market dealers that sell and smuggle illegal drugs and weapons, or conduct other unlawful activities over the dark web.

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Silk Road Creator’s Appeal for Rehearing Denied by Court

Court of Appeals title on Legal Documents
The Court of Appeals has rejected a petition for a panel or full rehearing filed by Ross Ulbricht, the founder of the Silk Road darknet marketplace.

It has been more than five years since the apprehension and subsequent court battles ensued for the founder of the infamous darknet marketplace, Silk Road.

The legal avenues for the convicted Ross Ulbricht, also known as “Dread Pirate Roberts,” seem to thin out following the results of his petition last week.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road is BACK ONLINE NOW as Silk Road 3.1 and open for business.

The team did a change and upgrade for a reason we can only assume for security.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.1 Guide <<

On Wednesday, a federal appeals court denied Ulbricht a rehearing of his conviction and consequent life imprisonment sentence.

Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole back in 2015, following his arrest for creating and running the Silk Road, which was a highly popular dark web drug market before its 2013 shutdown.

He has since fought his conviction for crimes including money laundering and drug trafficking conspiracies, as well as the unduly harsh prison sentence.

Ulbricht had filed a petition for a panel or a full rehearing of the case, which was rejected by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

The petition hearing was held at the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse in New York City.

It is worth noting that Ross Ulbricht had earlier this year filed an appeal for his life sentence, which was denied by the panel of the northeastern appeals court in May of 2017.

It would be safe to speculate that the reasons for the denial of the August petition are the same as the May petition.

gavel on table
Judges dismissed the arguments

In the May case, Ulbricht’s lawyers pointed out the illegal searches carried out by authorities investigating the Silk Road, as well as the involvement of corrupt federal agents in overseeing the effort leading to his harsh sentence for non-violent crimes.

The three-judge appellate panel addressed and dismissed the arguments and upheld the decision of the lower court, although they disagreed with the unexpectedly harsh sentence and American drug laws.

It is yet to be known whether the August appeal was denied on the same grounds, but it is highly likely.

The anticipated legal move for the Silk Road founder is a petition to the Supreme Court.

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Rogue Silk Road Agent Charged with another Bitcoin Theft

There has been a new development in a two-year-old Bitcoin theft case against an ex-Secret Service agent.

New documents show that additional theft had taken place—just as new developments regarding the case were starting to simmer down, everything has started to unravel yet again.

The ex-agent in question, Shaun Bridges, allegedly stole as much as $800,000 worth of Bitcoin from the Silk Road before it was shut down by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road is BACK ONLINE NOW as Silk Road 3.1 and open for business. The team did a change and upgrade for a reason we can only assume for security.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.1 Guide <<

How it All Began

Stack of bitcoins with gold background
New documents show more money was stolen in the 2015 case in which nearly $1 million dollars in Bitcoin was stolen by federal agents.

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice charged two federal agents with the crime of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of Bitcoin while they were investigating the Silk Road.

The Silk Road was once upon a time the most successful marketplace on the dark web.

Almost anyone with access to the site could buy anything they wanted, whether legal or illegal.

By October 2013, it was estimated that Silk Road generated around $200 million in sales.

But soon after, an investigation was launched into the Silk Road and it was promptly taken down by the FBI.

It was discovered that the marketplace was run by an individual named Ross Ulbricht, who worked under the online alias “Dread Pirate Roberts.”

He was later found guilty and charged with crimes that included money laundering and conspiracy to traffic narcotics.

However, it was found later that two of the federal agents who were working on the case had stolen almost a million dollars’ worth of Bitcoins during the investigation.

Bridges was accused alongside a former Drug Enforcement Administration agent, Carl Force.

Both men were charged with both wire fraud and money laundering.

Force, who was 46 years old, and Bridges, who was in his early thirties, had belonged to the federal team tasked with taking down the Silk Road.

According to the authorities, Force had a very important role as the lead undercover agent in the investigation and therefore could get easy access to the money.

In his undercover operation, he was supposed to make contact with “The Dread Pirate Roberts” using a sanctioned online alias, but Force was also communicating with the Silk Road admin on the side.

He had set up a number of different aliases and was talking to Ross Ulbricht right under the federal government’s noses.

According to the prosecutor, Force had extorted nearly $250,000 from Ulbricht.

He also offered to sell information regarding the ongoing investigation for the price of $100,000.

Bridges, on the other hand, had stolen around $800,000 worth in Bitcoin by diverting the digital currency to his personal account.

Soon after Force was arrested, Bridges was also apprehended and plead guilty to the related charges.

New Allegations of Stealing More Money

virtual currency values
Bitcoin’s value was much lower than it is now

Recent unsealed documents revealed that Bridges may have stolen more money than what was earlier discovered.

According to the prosecutors, Bridges had stolen $700,000 in Bitcoins in July 2015 and roughly $20,000 the following months.

The new information points out that Bridges may have stolen more money a few months before he was sentenced.

Bridges was then re-arrested under suspicions regarding him trying to flee from the U.S. before his prison sentence began.

In the following court filings, it was revealed that Bridges would be investigated for actions involving additional Bitcoin theft.

The recent court filings show that Bridges had stolen 1606.6488 Bitcoins, which amounts to nearly $6.5 million today.

At the time of the theft, Bitcoin’s value was much lower than it is now.

According to the prosecutors, Bridges had deposited this money into BTC-e, which was a popular Bitcoin exchange until it was shut down by authorities.

The recent court documents show that there were at least 19 different transactions that Bridges made trying to hide his extra stolen money.

Right now as it stands, Shaun Bridges might receive up to 10 years in prison and a hefty fee of $250,000.

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Silk Road Vendor Linked to Bellevue Man’s Overdose Death Sentenced to 6 Years

closeup of view of a jail cells iron bars casting shadows
Kevin Campbell, the former Silk Road drug vendor linked to the overdose of a Bellevue computer programmer, has been sentenced to six years in prison.

Kevin Campbell, a 47-year-old Chicago Army veteran and former Silk Road drug vendor, has been sentenced to six years in prison.

The sentence comes in connection with the overdose and subsequent death of Jordan Mettee, a Bellevue computer programmer who worked at Microsoft.

Campbell received the sentence last week from U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour and has been relocated to a prison institution.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road is BACK ONLINE NOW as Silk Road 3.1 and open for business. The team did a change and upgrade for a reason we can only assume for security.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.1 Guide <<

How it all Started

The founder of the Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht, successfully created a huge underground marketplace which at its peak entertained more than 4,000 vendors and hundreds of thousands of customers, from Australia, Europe, Canada and the U.S.

The website helped facilitate deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars, ranging in everything from drugs such as heroin and cocaine to fake passports and even contract killings.

Campbell was one of those vendors, dealing in drugs like marijuana, heroin, steroids and diet pills.

In 2013, Campbell mailed 2 grams of heroin to Mettee, including a large quantity of the anti-anxiety medication, Xanax.

The delivery was cleverly concealed inside a DVD case of the movie “Godsend.”

The Fatal Shot

A friend came by Mettee’s apartment after he failed to show up for work.

He then found Mettee lying unconscious on his desk.

His body was technically still alive, but the 300 milligram shot of heroin, which he had cooked and injected earlier, had stopped his lungs and thus cut off the oxygen supply to his brain.

His family had to later make the horrible, but inevitable decision to terminate his life support.

After the 27-year-old software engineer had received and injected the “china white” heroin, Campbell emailed him about 30 minutes later but Mettee’s condition had worsened over time.

The Silk Road website was still opened on his computer.

The heroin alone had cost $300, but all the drugs in the package cost a total of $1,100.

Five More Lives Lost

Mettee’s death was not the only one connected to the Silk Road.

There were five other drug-related deaths, but federal prosecutors focused on his case to prosecute Ross Ulbricht, the founder of the Silk Road—better known online as the “Dread Pirate Roberts.”

Having made millions from the Silk Road, Ulbricht was sentenced to life imprisonment.

So began the manhunt for Mettee’s drug dealer.

PTandRnR

cooked heroin
Was arrested for dealing crack cocaine

Campbell was known on the Silk Road as PTandRnR.

A DVD cover found near Mettee’s body was dusted for prints after law enforcement officers determined that the drugs were delivered in DVD cases.

Campbell’s prints were then identified on the case and an investigation was launched.

He had continued to deal drugs to his customers, including sending 120 Xanax pills to an undercover agent in Colorado.

Law enforcement obtained a warrant in May 2014 and conducted a search of his Chicago home, yielding enough evidence to prosecute him.

Campbell had joined the Army at the age of 18 and served in Iraq.

After being honorably discharged in 1992, he fell into a life of drug use and dealing.

He was arrested for dealing crack cocaine in the late 1990s and continued dealing following his prison release.

After his home was raided in 2014 and he was arrested, Campbell then learned of the overdose death of his former customer, Jordan Mettee.

Remorse and Punishment

While he was detained, Campbell wrote a letter to Mettee’s mother, expressing his remorse for what had happened to her son.

He pleaded guilty in February and received his sentence last Tuesday.

Investigations revealed that Campbell did not typically sell heroin until his sale to Mettee.

The start of his prison term is upcoming, and the judge has also ordered him to serve three years of supervised release following his imprisonment.

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Silk Road 3.1 is Back Up

Enter DarkNet
Silk Road 3.1 has miraculously come back online. Will the great darkweb market flourish or flounder?

Yes, you heard this correctly, Silk Road 3.1 is back up and even refunding users lost bitcoins!

The main reason why the original Silk Road closed down in the first place was that the site’s fund transfer program was not working.

As such, many users supposed one of the mods had stopped maintaining the market, possibly subjecting to an exit scam.

However, the other two mods working on the Silk Road continued to work on a new market, named Silk Road 3.1. They have been trying to refund all of the lost funds.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road is BACK ONLINE NOW as Silk Road 3.1 and open and trading all the goods you are looking for.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.1 Guide <<

There’s even an available form on the site where you can recover your lost funds if you prove your identity and provide the necessary evidence.

Furthermore, shortly after this announcement, another incident came along. Users’ funds were stolen after the site’s servers had been hacked. Most of the users were let down, and despite all attempts of the Silk Road to make a positive impression and gain a certain reputation, most of the people were frightened of the name of Silk Road 3.1.

The dark market community was truly divided on this topic. Many considered that the owners of SR3.1 pulled off a big exit scam. By extension, they also believed that the announcement of the hacking was an enormous lie.

Expert hacker doing a criminal cyber-attacks
Many considered that the owners of SR3.1 pulled off a big exit scam.

Still, many comrades believe that a third party was responsible for this incident and the owners of the Silk Road 3.1 were honorable members of the darknet market community.

After a certain time has passed, I am glad to tell you the Silk Road 3.1 is back up! Subsequently resolving some technical issues, the Silk Road market has risen again as of August 1.

The comeback of the Silk Road 3.1 brought much more obligations to the owners of this market—mainly showing their reliability and trustworthiness to the site’s vendors and buyers.

The ultimate goal is to prove their loyalty in order to win their previous users again. Every doubt any of the users has is justified and upheld, so all that is left for the Silk Road 3.1 and its owners is to confirm the market’s decency and correctness.

It is only a matter of time when Silk Road 3.1’s administrators will prove their dedication to their comrades.

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Silk Road 3.1 Closed Down

After an incident revolving around Silk Road 3 happened in early 2017, a post on DarknetMarkets subreddit emerged, explaining what has allegedly happened to the market, and the reasons behind it.

The post was written by one of the SR3 mods, who was working on SR3 and who tried to rectify some of the harm that was caused.

NOTE: Silk Road 3.1 was supposedly HACKED and the owners temporarily closed it down. It is now back up and operational. In recent weeks, AlphaBay and Hansa markets were seized by law enforcement so they are also gone.

You must keep your identity safe, so always use a VPN and PGP, and never use your real email or name. Happy Trails.

Closed sign. Realistic neon inscription. Glowing font. Vector illustration.
A hacker has allegedly infiltrated the Silk Road 3.1 and Luancy marketplaces, stealing users’ funds. An announcement has been posted on the sites.

In the continuation of the post, the mod who goes by the name AlphaWaves claims that another mod called BattleStar was starting to become paranoid and had stopped working for the marketplace—causing the cessation of fund transfers.

After that, the darknet market was proclaimed to have underwent an exit scam, and it was supposedly closed.

While this was all happening, AlphaWaves and a third mod from SR3, named Paragon, started working on a new marketplace called Silk Road 3.1.

In the initial post, AlphaWaves claimed that all the funds that were locked on SR3 servers were still up on the site, and the team would try to refund as much as possible back to the vendors.

The post about the SR3 exit scam also served as an announcement for the opening of the future SR3.1.

Before the site went live, former SR3 vendors were allegedly contacted in an attempt to refund the Bitcoin lost during the SR3 exit scam.

There was even a form available on the Silk Road 3.1 site that could be used to recover lost funds, if the necessary evidence was provided.

Despite all attempts to make a positive first impression on the users of the darknet market, the stigma of the Silk Road’s name still deterred most people from trying out the new marketplace.

The market was active for around four months and it was starting to gain a reputation, despite retaining the infamous Silk Road brand that many members of the darknet community had learned to stay clear of.

Most of this was due to the fact that many buyers and vendors have reported that AlphaWaves was one of the best support administrators they’ve encountered on the dark web, and that they were very pleased with the way they were treated on SR3.

Earlier this month, a DarknetMarkets subreddit user named Skillzy2017 posted that Silk Road 3.1 and Lunacy’s Apache servers were leaking IPs.

The user claimed they contacted SR3.1’s support team with report, but they were soon banned from using the site after doing so.

Shortly after SR3.1 was closed, an announcement was released that the market’s servers had been hacked and the funds were stolen.

Reddit homepage on a monitor screen through a magnifying glass.
In the continuation of the post, the mod who goes by the name AlphaWaves claims that another mod called BattleStar was starting to become paranoid and had stopped working for the marketplace—causing the cessation of fund transfers.

A subreddit post said the site displayed a banner with the words “The End,” along with an alleged explanation of the situation.

The explanation stated that all the funds on SR3.1 were stolen, but that users’ personal information were not touched. Further down there is an offer, primarily to the owners of Hansa and Dream Market, that they take over all the equipment and software used for running SR3.1 for free and attempt to restart it.

There is also an offer for sale of said equipment to any “decent market/darknet personality” for the amount stolen, so that the cash trove could be refunded.

By doing so, said “personality” would gain ownership of the market.

There’s also information about SR3.1’s alleged daily turnover for the past week, along with details about active advertising outlets and user count data.

The announcement ends with a small field and captcha that can be filled out and used as a means of arranging the said sale of SR3.1.

The darknet market community is heavily divided on this topic, as is expected. Those who claimed that the Silk Road name brought only bad news after the initial market was taken down are holding on to the claim that the announcement was a lie and that, in reality, the owners of SR3.1 just pulled off an exit scam.

Others claim that the owners of SR3.1 were upstanding members of the darknet community, and that some third party entity was involved in this incident.

Whether or not these claims prove to be true, the reality is that the Silk Road 3.1 funds have most likely disappeared irreversibly. The only thing SR3.1 vendors and buyers can do is wait and see if somebody will step up and buyout the debt in the days to come.

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Silk Road Founder Moved to Another Location

Family members of Ross Ulbricht, founder of the notorious Silk Road darknet market, tried to visit their beloved family member in the early days of July at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York.

Unfortunately, they could not find him at his assigned correctional facility. Instead, the family learned that the authorities decided to transfer him to another location.

 

NOTE: Silk Road 3.1 was supposedly HACKED and the owners have closed it down. It is a shame, but before too long there will most likely be a Silk Road 4. In the recent weeks, AlphaBay and Hansa markets were seized by law enforcement so they are also gone. But not to worry. The next biggest market is Dream Market. Go to https://dreammarketdrugs.com and you are back on another excellent darknet market.  You must keep your identity safe, always use a VPN, and PGP, never use your real email or name. Happy Trails.

corridor in a prison at night showing jail cells
Earlier this month, the Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht was transferred to another correctional facility without any notice.

In response to this disturbing development, the family took to Twitter to inform the public of what they had just discovered.

They did so through the hashtag #FreeRoss. Ulbricht contacted them the following day informing them about the transfer. The family also tweeted about this development.

The family members have expressed a great deal of concern over the correctional facility that would house Ulbricht.

They feel that it might be hostile to him. For example, the July 6 tweet suggested that Ulbricht deserves a prison that has a safe and secure backyard.

Ross Ulbricht’s Vision & Philosophy

Ulbricht, a Penn State University graduate, wanted to build a dark web site using Bitcoin and Tor.

Tor would help him hide his IP while Bitcoin would help him hide the connection between his identity and his online wallet. He thought that this kind of anonymity would help him evade enforcement officers.

In 2010, Ulbricht embarked on his dream. More specifically, he started building the dark web market called Silk Road, where he would use Dread Pirate Roberts as his login name.

As indicated in his diaries, he wanted to turn 2011 into “a year of prosperity” through this Silk Road venture.

On his profile description for his LinkedIn page, Ulbricht hinted that he envisioned the world as a place that should operate without coercion or aggression.

Silk Road’s End

In October of 2013, Ulbricht was arrested in connection with the darknet marketplace he had built.

An IRS investigator, Gary Alford, first suspected that Ulbricht was in fact running Silk Road under the Dread Pirate Roberts screenname.

Alford’s suspicions started in mid-2013 when he was working with the DEA on the Silk Road case.

Upon his arrest, Ross was charged with money laundering, computer hacking, procuring hitmen for murder and conspiracy to traffic narcotics.

Those who used his website accessed it via the Tor browser, after which they could buy anything, from jewelry to raw milk to narcotics. Then they would pay for these products using Bitcoins.

After his arrest, the Silk Road founder was put on trial where he would respond to all of these charges except the one for murder.

The prosecutor removed the murder charge but the people who procured various products from his site did not commit any murder with the goods they bought.

In May 2015, Ulbricht was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Post-Arrest Events & Subsequent Trial

Early in 2016, Ulbricht’s lawyers submitted an appeal claiming that the DEA’s evidence of the Silk Road investigation was illegally withheld by the prosecutor.

And in October 2016, there was an oral hearing of the appeal.

But in May of this year, the Court of Appeals ended up denying the appeal, confirming the judgment of life imprisonment.

However, Ulbricht argued that he was wrongly convicted and that the district court that arrested him violated the Fourth Amendment, which protects victims against unreasonable searches and seizures.

He claims he was denied the motion to suppress evidence. He also claims that he was deprived of the right to fair trial.

Ulbricht started his life imprisonment at the MCC in New York, but as of July 2017, he was moved to another location.

Dread Pirate Roberts’ Life in Prison

letters life prison barbed wire.frame
Family members said that Ulbricht deserves a prison that has a safe and secure backyard

Before Ulbricht was moved to an unknown correctional center early in July, reports from his family members indicated that the Silk Road founder had learned how to adapt to prison life.

Lyn Ulbricht, Ross’s mother, campaigned for her son’s release by telling the story of how he planted a seed in one corner of his cell and then used damp towel to support it until it sprouted.

Unfortunately, it was taken away by a prison guard and placed on the counselor’s desk.

Ulbricht’s Life Before Prison

Before he was nabbed, Ulbricht used to travel the world visiting some of the most beautiful beaches and engaging in surfing.

The drug kingpin and dark web mastermind looked like any other regular tourist. You would not have imagined him to be the Dread Pirate Roberts.

However, when he was not in the water surfing, he would be busy using his hotel room’s free Wi-Fi to manage his dark web site.

Conviction Actually Feeds Darknet Market Trends

Though the Silk Road kingpin was seized by law enforcement, drug trafficking has not stopped.

In fact, illegal trade on the dark web has seen an increase in sales after the news came that Ulbricht was sentenced to life imprisonment.

From such results, one can only conclude that the media coverage of Ross Ulbricht and Silk Road only publicized his works.

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A Delve into the Silk Road Creator’s Coinbase Wallet Freeze

Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange company, has disabled the “Free Ross” campaign wallet that was meant to help raise funds for Ross Ulbricht, who was the founder and admin of the Silk Road.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road is BACK ONLINE NOW as Silk Road 3.1 and open for business. The team did a change and upgrade for a reason we can only assume for security.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.1 Guide <<

This freeze took place right after the campaign had received 16.5 Bitcoins in donations, a value equivalent to $40,200.

Bit-coin in the wallet
A look into some possibilities for why Coinbase blocked a digital wallet held by “Free Ross,” a fundraising campaign to help cover legal defense costs for the Silk Road founder.

The Ulbricht family is the official manager of the Free Ross campaign.

It was launched to raise funds for Ross Ulbricht’s appeal and legal defense.

After the news of the freeze, members from the Free Ross campaign and others who followed the case closely were quick to offer assistance in order to resolve the situation.

Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2015 for his alleged involvement with the Silk Road, an online market for drug transactions and other illegal business dealings.

The court revealed that he operated the darknet market under the pseudonym “Dread Pirate Roberts.”

The site’s illegal products and services were the main reason for Ulbricht’s harsh sentence, due to the massive scale facilitated in the drug trade.

In May 2017, an appellate court denied an application from his legal team.

Ulbricht’s campaign team confirmed the Coinbase freeze.

They stated that they had moved the Bitcoins to Coinbase from blockchain, to enable them to convert to USD and pay for Ross’ defense. However, upon trying to validate their account, it was disabled without any explanation.

All they were told is that Coinbase would get back to them in 72 hours.

Coinbase is one of the most standardized Bitcoin exchange services in the United States.

This company is highly regulated. It’s registered and certified as a Money Service Business with FinCEN.

Hence, it is expected to comply with many financial services and consumer protection laws.

This company has been known to freeze accounts whenever any suspicious activity is noticed.

It also freezes the accounts of those who engage in online gambling. Coinbase has a strict policy where it requires details about how clients intend to use their Bitcoins.

The Silk Road creator’s campaign team has been in operation since the first time he was arrested in October 2013 over the same issue.

The Free Ross campaign has not engaged in any illicit activities. All the campaign does is just present Ulbricht’s side of the story.

In addition, the team tries to raise funds to pay for legal defense and appeals.

The campaign had not been storing all its Bitcoins on Coinbase, but was using the account to convert donations to USD.

Still, the Ross Ulbricht-related plot thickens. Just recently, Coinbase announced that a former federal prosecutor named Kathryn Haun was joining its board of directors.

holding a smartphone and virtual system diagram bitcoin
A digital currency coordinator at the United States Department of Justiceis now joining Coinbase’s board of directors

Haun was a digital currency coordinator at the United States Department of Justice, where her primary focus was on national security, cybercrime, financial fraud and gang activity.

She mainly led investigations into the corrupt federal agents that had been accused of theft and corruption during the Silk Road case.

Both suspects were successfully prosecuted and are now serving a jail term.

The news of Haun joining Coinbase’s board of directors did not sit well with some members of the Bitcoin community.

The freezing of the Silk Road creator’s campaign wallet was a little suspicious, especially since it happened soon after her appointment to the board.

However, it turns out Haun was not the prosecutor that convicted the Silk Road founder.

Coinbase has since unblocked Ross Ulbricht’s legal defense wallet after a flurry of complaints.

The Free Ross twitter account posted that the freeze was an auto security response that occurred after a possible link to previous compromised account.

This incident only highlighted Coinbase’s already beleaguered internal and external issues.

The Silk Road creator’s supporters said the statement was only a cover up of Coinbase’s other problems with IRS.

Thanks to the unfreezing of the wallet, Ulbricht’s campaign team can continue funding their campaign to help him receive some semblance of justice.

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The Silk Road Founder Loses His Life Sentence Appeal

Ross Ulbricht is now destined to spend the rest of his life in prison following the sound rejection of his appeal that was meted out the previous week.

The Second Circuit appellate court ruling was firmly delivered to the Silk Road drug kingpin, famously known as “Dread Pirate Roberts,” in a manner that expressed subtle sympathy for the somewhat excessive, yet completely justified conviction of Ulbricht by the lower district court.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road is BACK ONLINE NOW as Silk Road 3.1 and open for business. The team did a change and upgrade for a reason we can only assume for security.

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Rubber stamping that says 'Appeal'.
A Second Circuit appellate court effectively ended Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht’s fight for justice, upholding the life sentence initially meted out by the district court.

This marked the end of Ulbricht’s five-year battle to escape his lifetime imprisonment sentence, which was influenced by an investigation marred with vast inconsistencies, according to Ulbricht’s defense.

Unauthorized Searches, Corrupt Investigators

The Silk Road investigation is one that will be remembered not only for its unexpectedly severe ending, but also for a number of inconsistencies which many believe played a hand in the largely unfair ruling.

These sentiments were echoed by the appellate court judges who seemed to concur with the majority opinion that the sentencing was heavier than most courts would have issued.

Ulbricht’s appeal was hinged on two key occurrences that his defense feel could have negatively influenced the outcome of his trial.

The involvement of DEA agent Carl Mark Force and Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges—two corrupt officials who stole from the Silk Road and also attempted to extort its founder—in the investigation forced his defense to file for a mistrial.

The appellate court also received and dismissed claims that the Silk Road investigators had conducted unauthorized surveillance of his home network, through which they managed to collect information from his social media and email accounts.

Ulbricht’s defense also raised the issue of what they termed as “unconstitutional searches,” which led to the seizure of his laptop. To this argument, the three-judge panel responded that the searches had been backed by warrants and were as such legal under the Fourth Amendment.

The appellate court upheld and maintained the life imprisonment sentence, despite the prosecution’s move to appeal to the district court’s emotional side by introducing statements which had little or no direct relevance to the Silk Road founder’s case.

Claims that this could have led to misgivings in the final ruling were shot down by the judge panel, who backed the district court’s ability to make decisions that weren’t afflicted by the wrenching testimony.

The three judges, however, agreed that the Silk Road customers’ deaths did not hold much relevance to the trial.

No Reprieve for the Drug Market Founder

Appeal word on card index paper
This marked the end of Ulbricht’s five-year battle to escape his lifetime imprisonment sentence, which was influenced by an investigation marred with vast inconsistencies, according to Ulbricht’s defense.

In the end, the final ruling of the appellate court terminated all hopes of Ulbricht clawing his way out of life imprisonment without parole. The decision to uphold the district court’s ruling was heavily influenced by the “kingpin” charge, which portrayed Ulbricht as a ruthless administrator who had gone to great lengths to protect the wealth he had amassed through the Silk Road under the pseudonym Dread Pirate Roberts.

They reiterated that there had been overwhelming evidence of this, citing the three attempted murder charges that had weighed profoundly against Ulbricht and ultimately played the biggest part in his sentencing.

According to the court documents, the ruling, although excessive, was completely justifiable. In addition to Ulbricht’s actions, the judges called attention to the volume of sales generated by the drug-fueled marketplace, saying that any prosecution would be justified to seek extreme punishment in such a case.

His sentencing was initially intended to partially serve as a dire warning to other dark web drug kingpins which, in retrospect, worsened the situation drastically.

Subsequent versions of the Silk Road all raked in sales that amounted to more than double of what Ulbricht was arrested for in what was a brash display of impunity by online drug overlords who were now much more alert to the danger of being nabbed by the federal authorities.

The appellate court’s ruling also contained undertones of doubt and subtle sympathy for the extreme sentencing of a young man to spend the rest of his life in prison. The panel admitted that although the sentencing was permissible, they might have considered a less harsh ruling if the case had been presented to them first.

Be it as it may, the writing is finally on the wall: Ross Ulbricht, founder of the trailblazing Silk Road One, will live out the rest of his days in prison.

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