Silk Road Creator Writes a Letter to Roger Ver

President Holding Get Out of Jail Card Isolated on White Background
Ross Ulbricht, the founder of Silk Road, has written to Bitcoin startup investor Roger Ver seeking help in securing a presidential pardon.

It’s been slightly over half a decade now since Ross Ulbricht was arrested and locked behind bars. He was the founder of the infamous dark web marketplace Silk Road, which enlisted an assortment of products and services both illegal and legal.

Although to some extent the darknet site did facilitate some unlawful activities, it was nonetheless among the pioneers of the usage of Bitcoin. Many users preferred payments in Bitcoin as opposed to standard cash since it was more secure and difficult to trace.

Now years since his sentence was handed to him back in 2015, Ulbricht has made attempt after attempt to plead his case but to no avail. In his latest endeavor, he has written a handwritten letter to early Bitcoin investor Roger Ver seeking for him to help get a presidential pardon.

Ver has been among the most vocal supporters of the former Silk Road founder, insistently calling for his release. Ulbricht is seeking to get help in clemency for his double life sentence that he is currently serving at the U.S. Penitentiary Florence High, based in Colorado.

Ulbricht’s Call for Support

In his handwritten letter (which Ver shared in a YouTube video), Ulbricht outlined that he was entirely out of options and that his best shot at freedom was only a presidential pardon. He started by outlining that despite the assistance that Ver had offered throughout the trials, he has unfortunately lost the court battles over and over again.

Man signing a petition for a public referendum in Seattle
Last year saw the start of a distinct campaign aimed at having Ulbricht granted clemency, not to mention a petition which has garnered over 100,000 signatures

According to Ulbricht, while he and his team have provided their absolute best, their odds of a victory are slim no matter how much expertise and resources they put into it.

He continues to state that having identified how little of a chance he has of getting his freedom back through the courts, his only remaining option is getting a presidential pardon.

Support from Crypto Influencers

Ulbricht also highlighted that it is time that the crypto community solidifies their support for him in his quest to get a presidential pardon.

Despite not necessarily being a crypto proponent, Ulbricht has been a significant unifying factor in the growth of cryptocurrencies.

Such is the massive influence that everyone starting from the Bitcoin maximalists down to the most conservative have expressed their wish to see him freed.

In finality, Ulbricht asked Ver together with other highly influential persons across the crypto realm to create and upload video clips voicing their support in his efforts, to effectively push his attempt at getting U.S. President Trump to pardon his double life sentence.

Last year saw the start of a distinct campaign aimed at having Ulbricht granted clemency, not to mention a petition which has garnered over 100,000 signatures. What’s more, this campaign has also been supported by a state senator and a political party.

In July 2018, The Libertarian Party passed a resolution urging the president to grant Ulbricht a full pardon. The event happened during the party’s annual convention with Darryl Perry, the former Liberian Party chair, dubbing Ulbricht as a political prisoner.

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 <<

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Mother of Silk Road Founder Remains Hopeful President Trump Will Pardon Her Son

Silhouette of the President of the United States of America Donald Trump while attending a conference
Lyn Ulbricht continues hope that President Donald Trump’s executive pardon could mean freedom for her son, the incarcerated founder of Silk Road.

Lyn Ulbricht is still hopeful that U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive pardon could mean that her son, Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, will one day go free.

In 2015, a judge gave Ross Ulbricht two life sentences in addition to 40 years after the authorities arrested him two years prior for the role he played as the creator and head operator of Silk Road, a darknet marketplace. The sentencing came without an option of parole.

In a recent interview with the Yahoo Finance U.K., Lyn Ulbricht accepted that her son’s work and the Silk Road’s foundation was a “reckless idea.” However, she said that her son did not start the platform with an aim of harming others; his ultimate idea was to push the advancement of free markets and privacy.

The Longstanding Clemency Petition

The debate on the sentencing of Ross Ulbricht has remained one of the contentious issues in the U.S. Some individuals believe that the sentence was just, but others think that the government’s decision was draconian.

In July 2018, Lyn Ulbricht started a petition on Change.org which asks for Ross’ clemency. The petition notes that the sentence was very harsh, mainly because no charges were violent and he did not have a criminal history. Over 100,000 individuals have already signed the petition.

Several public figures in the crypto ecosystem including Shapeshift CEO Eric Voorhees and Litecoin Founder Charlie Lee have supported the “Free Ross” movement and even tweeted the link to the petition.

Lyn Ulbricht explained that she is hopeful because Trump has already granted clemency to several individuals. She also emphasized that if she lives, she will not bring herself to allow her son to rot in prison. She elaborated that the labeling of her son as a “kingpin” and the charge with serious crimes was a serious “abuse of power.”

During the interview, Lyn exclaimed that Ross is not Pablo Escobar and recalled the heartaches she suffered when dealing with the arrest and the trials that followed.

Conceptual image of a handgun with a roll of money surrounded by scattered bullets and cartridges on an old weathered wooden surface with copyspace depicting crime, a payoff, robbery or bribe
Part of Ross Ulbricht’s arrest and trial centralized around allegations of arranging for a murder-for-hire aimed at taking out particular individuals.

Was the Murder-For-Hire Real?

Part of Ross Ulbricht’s arrest and trial centralized around allegations of arranging for a murder-for-hire aimed at taking out particular individuals.

Lyn Ulbricht stated that she believes the entire scheme was a sting organized by another individual logged onto Dread Pirate Roberts’ account (Ross’ online alias) when he had left. She claimed that all the alleged chat logs relating to the situation featured a distinctive writing format and style and were very different from Ross’ way of communication.

Lyn also indicated that Ross was doing well in the U.S. Penitentiary Florence prison in which he is incarcerated, and he has managed to maintain connections with the outside world. He has been dictating tweets to his visitors and receiving notes and letters.

Background: Ross’ Arrest

Ross Ulbricht started the Silk Road, an online marketplace similar to eBay that allowed buyers and sellers to use Bitcoin in their transactions—a relatively obscure currency at the time.

Among the key features that differentiated the marketplace from others was the loose rules relating to the sold items. The marketplace forbade some things like stolen goods and child exploitation material but allowed drugs and, as a result, it became the marketplace for illegal narcotics.

By early 2013, most of the listings on Silk Road were drugs such as heroin, ecstasy and cannabis. Sales estimates stood at around $200 million to $1 billion. The FBI traced the anonymous operator of the site, known online as Dread Pirate Roberts, to Ross Ulbricht.

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 <<

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Former Silk Road Admin Recounts His Fake Death Story

A hand holding a syringe and a keyboard in the background.
Curtis Green narrates the story of his involvement with the world’s most notorious dark web drug market, Silk Road.

Curtis Green never intended to be a drug dealer.

The 52-year-old Salt Lake City resident was an average citizen working at a nonprofit organization that aided people with learning disabilities when he first got involved with Silk Road.

A father and grandfather, he was drawn to the drug-fueled dark web marketplace by his interest in Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency that had then found its biggest market in the illicit trade that was going on in the hidden part of the internet.

However, as he recounts in his book, from which he’s squeezed out a movie deal, things escalated rather quickly to the point where he found himself having to fake his own death.

Early Bitcoin Enthusiast-Turned-Darknet Market Admin

Green had initially been a regular presence on Silk Road forums where he chatted, presumably, about his interest in Bitcoin and other innocuous subjects including harm reduction pertaining to drug use.

Eventually, he was spotted by the founder and head admin of Silk Road, who was then only known as “Dread Pirate Roberts” or DPR. For unknown reasons, DPR chose to hire him as an administrator for the booming online black market. Green worked as a customer service representative—a role he fulfilled by helping people find their way around the site as well as issuing accounts and passwords.

Green was still a high-ranking member of the online drug market when the dark web marketplace became a hot target for several United States law enforcement agencies. The search for the anonymous entity at the helm of the Silk Road, had begun in earnest, and it wasn’t long before Green found himself tangled in the bizarre drama that unfolded next.

Half a Kilo of Cocaine and $500,000 in Bitcoin

Green was soon required to dirty his hands by getting involved in a drug sale. DPR had unwittingly been reeled into a drug transaction involving undercover agents, and soon after he agreed to help, a package containing half a kilogram of cocaine valued at $27,000 showed up at his doorstep.

It wasn’t long before Green was in the hands of law enforcement. He opted to reduce his punishment by providing investigators with the login credentials and passwords of several big-name drug vendors that had been operating on the market. A few days later, Green came to learn that the Silk Road vendors had been robbed of approximately $500,000 worth of Bitcoin, a haul that had been made possible by the information he had divulged to the authorities.

Gold bitcoin sprinkled with cocaine on a black table.
Green says DPR wasn’t happy about the looting of Bitcoin, and was sour about the cocaine bust.

Green says DPR wasn’t happy about the looting of Bitcoin, and was sour about the cocaine bust. He immediately wanted him out of the picture, and he soon recruited an undercover agent posing as a hitman to have him tortured and eventually killed.

After evidence of fake waterboarding and gradually a phony assassination involving a can of red soup were submitted to DPR under the instructions of federal agents, Green stayed “dead” for the better part of a year as he hid out in his Utah home. Ross Ulbricht, identified as the founder of Silk Road, was later arrested in San Francisco on several charges including drug trafficking and conspiracy to commit murder.

Get-Out-of-Jail Card

Soon after Ulbricht’s arrest, Green learned that two rogue special agents, Shaun Bridges from the Secret Service, and Drug Enforcement Administration agent Carl Force, had been involved in the theft of the Bitcoin from the investigation. These agents, who were later imprisoned for their actions, would soon prove to be useful to his efforts to keep from serving jail time.

He pled guilty of his involvement in the cocaine deal, but federal prosecutors chose not to impart any punishment due to the role he played in bringing down the biggest actors in the Silk Road saga. The rogue actions of Bridges and Force also contributed to the prosecutors’ leniency—because of them, Green had spent an entire year cooped up in his home.

The 52-year-old recounts the gripping story in great detail in his book, The Silk Road Takedown, which is set to be turned into a Coen Brothers screenplay sometime in the future. Speaking to KSL Broadcasting during an interview in Salt Lake City, Green expressed that he was regretful for ever getting involved in the Silk Road.

Despite his history with Ulbricht, Green announced in a tweet that a portion of the revenue from his book sales would be donated to the Free Ross movement, and urged his followers to sign Ulbricht’s clemency petition, which has already received over 100,000 signatures.

 

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 <<

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Silk Road’s Alleged Hitman Arrested in Canada

Blue light flasher atop of a police car. City lights on the background.
A former Silk Road vendor was arrested in Vancouver under suspicion that he worked for the market’s founder as a hitman.

The latest character to be thrust into the seemingly never-ending Silk Road saga is one James Ellingson. Ellingson fits the profile of your run-of-the-mill drug vendor. He has a criminal record that precedes his time on the now-defunct Silk Road where he allegedly racked up $2 million selling drugs.

The 42-year-old is perhaps more suitably introduced as a hitman that was allegedly sought out by Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht during his tenure at the helm of the drug-fueled market where he was known as the one and only “Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR).”

Alleged Hitman Used the Alias ‘Redandwhite’

Canadian authorities arrested Ellingson in Vancouver nearly a month ago after investigations led them to believe that he was the man behind the darknet handle “redandwhite.”

Although his arrest had been in the works since January this year following a warrant issued by a New York federal magistrate judge, the 42-year-old former Silk Road vendor and purported hitman managed to make bail in a British Columbia court, thwarting the authorities’ efforts to keep him locked up.

A Hand out to send money to buy the drugs and dealer drugs man send big pack of cocaine, and many banknote and drugs on wooden table, dark vintage style,substance addiction and abuse concept
This lends to the belief that redandwhite could be one of two things: a drug dealer who also carried out occasional hits, or a drug dealer who also carried out occasional scams.

Despite evidence from the 2015 Ross Ulbricht trial suggesting that redandwhite and Ulbricht had plotted to carry out a murder within the first week after they started communicating, no records of an actual murder occurring during that time frame were ever brought forth.

This lends to the belief that redandwhite could be one of two things: a drug dealer who also carried out occasional hits, or a drug dealer who also carried out occasional scams.

Origins of Ellingson’s Involvement

Ellingson came into the picture in March 2013 after a feud between two Silk Road users, FriendlyChemist and LucyDrop, devolved to a point where the identities of 24 Silk Road vendors, including nine high-profile ones, were under threat of exposure. FriendlyChemist wanted to blackmail DPR, leveraging the real identities of several vendors as well as thousands of customers as a means to get what he wanted.

Things escalated quickly from here. First, the LucyDrop account became inactive, but was soon replaced by another account by the name RealLucyDrop, which claimed that FriendlyChemist had betrayed them and led to their arrest. DPR, determined not to be strong-armed into handing out his money, tried to convince RealLucyDrop to hand over FriendlyChemist’s real identity, but instead, he was later contacted by redandwhite, who introduced himself as part of the group that FriendlyChemist owed.

If the username didn’t clue you in, redandwhite claimed to be part of a drug ring / motorcycle gang known as Hells Angels, an outfit that controlled the movement of illicit substances in a large portion of western Canada. Red and white are the gang’s colors.

Hell's Angels and the Red Devils drinking together at the Royal Standard pub. Motorcycles are parked everywhere
If the username didn’t clue you in, redandwhite claimed to be part of a drug ring / motorcycle gang known as Hells Angels, an outfit that controlled the movement of illicit substances in a large portion of western Canada. Red and white are the gang’s colors.

DPR initially saw the chance to recruit redandwhite to be one of the vendors on his thriving market, but soon got down to business on how the FriendlyChemist issue could be handled with the least amount of commotion. He offered to put a bounty on his head on March 29 that same year. The hitman allegedly sent photo evidence of the murder a few days later after he and DPR had agreed on a price.

Ellingson’s story got even more complicated when police linked him to another drug vendor’s account named Marijuanaismymuse. As it stands, British Columbia Judge Justice DeWitt-Van Oosten believes that other people could be behind the Marijuanaismymuse account.

Already, court documents have placed a man known only by the initials D.A.L. behind the Marijuanaismymuse account, who was slapped with a civil forfeiture claim worth $1.4 million earlier this year by British Columbia authorities.

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Petition to Free Ross Ulbricht Reaches a Milestone of 100,000 Signatures

Man signing a petition
A petition to pardon Ross Ulbricht reached 100,000 signatures in just a matter of months, birthing new hope that the Silk Road founder might be freed.

Since his incarceration, support for Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht has grown tenfold due to the efforts of his family, who work to defend what they believe is a wrongly imprisoned man.

Organizations such as the Drug Policy Alliance, Downsize DC Foundation, National Lawyers Guild, Reason Foundation and the National Lawyers Guild stand behind Ulbricht’s family in supporting their case.

After a failed appeal earlier this year, a petition to have Ulbricht pardoned by U.S. President Donald Trump was launched on Change.org, and in a matter of months, the number of signatures grew exponentially.

On Thursday, the petition finally came to pass the 100,000 signature mark, despite the fact that 50,000 was the initial target as support for Ulbricht grows.

Silk Road Case and Subsequent Conviction

Ulbricht was perhaps first known to the world as “Dread Pirate Roberts” when he ran the underground marketplace on the dark web known as Silk Road. The website allowed transactions of all kinds, even those that were illegal in nature, to happen under the mask of anonymity provided by the network encryption software Tor.

Silk Road operated for just under two years, during which Ulbricht amassed an estimated $28.5 million through transaction and service fees for the users of his platform, who paid for goods such as guns and drugs in Bitcoin.

One hand passes bitcoin and the other hand passes the drug package.
Silk Road operated for just under two years, during which Ulbricht amassed an estimated $28.5 million through transaction and service fees for the users of his platform, who paid for goods such as guns and drugs in Bitcoin.

His subsequent arrest in October of 2013 led to one of the most controversial cases of the century. Ulbricht faced charges of procuring murder, conspiring to sell narcotics, money laundering and computer hacking. Though the murder charge was ultimately dropped from his indictment, the evidence was still presented in court, and Judge Katherine Forrest pulled all the stops to ensure Ulbricht got the maximum sentence possible—two terms of life imprisonment without the possibility parole.

The Free Ross Movement

Ulbricht’s story is one that has been reiterated many times over, sometimes with emphasis laid upon the unquestionable injustice that followed his arrest, and other times with the hope that he will soon see the light of day.

At the moment, Ulbricht is serving his sentence at the United States Penitentiary in Florence High, where he has spent the last few years of his life trying to find a way out. Unlike many other convicted criminals serving life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, Ulbricht wasn’t involved in a violent crime, nor was he a threat to national security.

However, his appeals for a retrial have been turned down by the U.S. Court of Appeals even with the availability of damning evidence against the investigators that oversaw his case.

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen on a sunny fall day in Washington, D.C
However, his appeals for a retrial have been turned down by the U.S. Court of Appeals even with the availability of damning evidence against the investigators that oversaw his case.

Despite outrage from all corners of the internet, the 34-year-old is left with no choice but to hope for a presidential pardon, which, according to recent developments, just might be within reach.

Support Continues

With the aid of his family, Ulbricht is now able to maintain a live Twitter account which became active earlier this year. He keeps his many followers updated via his mother and his friends, courtesy of the customary phone calls he’s allowed to make from prison.

Support for Ulbricht has been in endless supply, with big names like John McAfee writing on his blog about the imperative for privacy and how Ulbricht’s was wrongfully treated during the investigations. Among the parties responsible for this milestone is The Libertarian Party, which has been a vocal supporter of the Free Ross campaign since the start.

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Ross Ulbricht: Happy Birthday, Bitcoin!

Golden bitcoins on color background
Ross Ulbricht, the creator of Silk Road, has written a heartfelt letter outlining his affection for Bitcoin to commemorate its 10th birthday.

Ross Ulbricht, famed for creating the now-defunct online marketplace Silk Road, has once again made global headlines although this time it has nothing to do with his endless legal woes but everything to do with his heartfelt letter to Bitcoin to mark its 10-year anniversary.

Ulbricht’s connection to Bitcoin is significant, considering his massive impact on the growth and development of Bitcoin through Silk Road.

The letter, which he wrote while still in his prison cell, metaphorically portrays an estranged father (Ulbricht) addressing his child (Bitcoin) and is filled with admiration at how far the currency has come since its inception.

In the Beginning…

A decade back, Bitcoin was just but a vague idea scribbled on a paper by the anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto. Currently, however, it is set to become a once-in-a-century class of new asset.

In its journey down the years, there have been numerous individuals who have popularized this cryptocurrency and shaped it into the dominant force it now is.

Nonetheless, only a few, if any, have had a more significant influence on its development and popularity than Ulbricht, mainly when he was running Silk Road.

Silk Road, despite turning into a hub for illegal trading of drugs, assassination contracts and firearms was precisely the platform that almost single-handedly sparked the development and popularity of Bitcoin as a medium of exchange.

It is the connection with these illegal activities, however, that led to Ulbricht being subsequently tracked down by the authorities, prosecuted in 2015, and ultimately sentenced to double life imprisonment as well as an additional 40 years without possibility of parole.

About the Letter

Closeup of bitcoin digital currency and gold nugget or gold ore on white background, precious stone or lump of golden stone, Cryptocurrency money financial and business concept idea.
Ross Ulbricht, famed for creating the now-defunct online marketplace Silk Road, has once again made global headlines although this time it has nothing to do with his endless legal woes but everything to do with his heartfelt letter to Bitcoin to mark its 10-year anniversary.

Writing about the 10-year Bitcoin birthday from his prison cell, Ulbricht outlined his affection for how Bitcoin has grown over the years.

In the letter, which was published in Bitcoin Magazine, Ulbricht described his relationship with Bitcoin by comparing himself to a somewhat alienated father addressing his child although from behind bars.

Ulbricht continued his narrative by comparing Bitcoin to a kid aged 10 years old, arguing that it is still quite young and still developing gradually.

He also went on to predict that the coming 10 years for Bitcoin would be like passing through adolescence, outlining that the franchise is yet to uncover its true meaning, but it would ultimately achieve maturity.

According to him, the next 10 years would allow us to discover Bitcoin’s capability, its various uses, as well as its influence on our everyday activities. He also referred Bitcoin as “our gifted child,” stating that it will surpass everyone’s expectations.

Ulbricht was also quick to stress on the significance of upholding the distinct values on which the currency was created, as well as of the individuals who inspired its potency.

He also highlighted a few key factors including privacy, decentralization and empowerment of individuals, urging Bitcoin advocates to represent it adequately.

In fact, according to him, these advocates will determine how far Bitcoin spreads its wingspan.

Finally, Ulbricht concluded by stating how excited he is for what the next decade would mean for both Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, referring to the latter as Bitcoin’s crypto cousins.

Moreover, he also outlined that he hopes he can ultimately make a return to his home to not only pursue his true passion but also make up for the lost years.

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Silk Road Lawyer to Defend WikiLeaks against DNC Lawsuit

The high-profile lawyer who represented Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht is set to defend WikiLeaks against a multimillion-dollar lawsuit.

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 <<

Closeup of WikiLeaks website website under a magnifying glass. WikiLeaks is an international non-profit organisation that publishes secret information
The New York lawyer who represented Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht has signed on to defend WikiLeaks against a Democratic National Committee lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) regarding Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Attorney Joshua Dratel notified the Manhattan judge who is overseeing the lawsuit that he would be WikiLeaks’ legal representative.

Who Is Joshua Dratel?

WikiLeaks tweeted the New York attorney’s notice to the court. The organization also posted a statement fromDratel saying that the DNC lawsuit against WikiLeaks lacks merit and it presents crucial issues concerning the First Amendment that the defense will be seeking to litigate.

Dratel has become well known as a representative for high-profile defendants in complex federal cases such as terrorism prosecutions.

Dratel was the first civilian attorney to represent a Guantanamo Bay prisoner. However, he is best known for representing Ross Ulbricht, the convicted founder and operator of the infamous dark web market Silk Road.

Allegations Against WikiLeaks

Six months ago, DNC Chair Tom Perez announced the 66-page civil lawsuit, which sues the Russian government, Donald Trump’s campaign and operatives, WikiLeaks and founding editor Julian Assange.

According to the lawsuit, the DNC alleges that leading Trump campaign officials were involved in a conspiracy with the Russian government to hurt presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and sway the election in favor of Trump. This was achieved through the hacking of Democratic Party systems.

Russian intelligence agency GRU has been identified publicly as the actor behind the DNC intrusion.

In July 2016, WikiLeaks released nearly 20,000 emails which were stolen from the DNC breach. At the time, then-candidate Trump actively praised WikiLeaks during his campaign rallies and on Twitter. Donald Trump Jr., who is also named as a defendant in the civil lawsuit, promoted the leaks via Twitter while carrying out private communication with Assange.

The DNC stated that WikiLeaks published the stolen material with the knowledge that the act would benefit the Russian government, Russian agents and Russian instrumentalities.

The lawsuit added that WikiLeaks’ and Assange’s goals were to promote Trump by undermining Clinton.

According to the DNC, Clinton and Assange have a long history of policy disagreements. They argue that this means the WikiLeaks founder would have preferred a Trump presidency since it would be less problematic for the organization.

Aim of the DNC Lawsuit

An concept Image of a lawsuit
The high-profile lawyer who represented Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht is set to defend WikiLeaks against a multimillion-dollar lawsuit.

The other defendants in the DNC’s lawsuit include campaign staff or Trump advisors including Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr. and Roger Stone. It is worth noting that President Donald Trump himself is not a defendant in the case.

The aim of the lawsuit is seeking compensation for the damages and losses the DNC suffered as a result of the intrusion and leaks. The amount of compensation at play is unspecified, although it can easily be in the millions.

The investigation into Russian interference of the 2016 election led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller is still ongoing.

Joshua Dratel is defending WikiLeaks but has not signed on to representing Julian Assange.

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Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht’s Petition for Clemency Signed by U.S. Senate Candidate

It is now nearly four years since Ross Ulbricht was convicted of operating the Silk Road dark web marketplace and handed a double life sentence plus 40 years.

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 <<

clemency word in a dictionary. clemency concept
U.S. Senate candidate Eric Brakey of Maine has signed a petition for President Trump to grant clemency to convicted Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht.

Since his conviction, a petition for clemency has been filed at Change.org seeking a re-evaluation and reduction of the sentence.

This petition is about the only chance left for Ulbricht to ever walk free with the odds greatly against him.

However, the petition has recently received a boost from an unlikely source—Maine State Senator Eric Brakey, who is currently campaigning as nominee for the U.S. Senate seat in 2018.

The Republican Senate candidate noted through a tweet back in August that he had signed the Change.org petition requesting President Donald Trump to grant clemency.

Senator Brakey also promised to visit Ulbricht the next time he visits Colorado. Ulbricht is currently imprisoned at the Florence High United States Penitentiary.

In a subsequent tweet made a month later in September, Brakey also pointed out the unfair handling of Ulbricht’s case by the U.S. criminal justice system.

With the Senate election coming up in November, the Silk Road founder may have a powerful voice on his side advocating for his freedom.

Senator Brakey added that he would present the issue to President Trump if he wins the coming election.

Silk Road Case Details

Although Ulbricht did engage in a criminal activity, many people share Brakey’s views on the manner that Ulbricht’s prosecution was handled and the harsh sentence that followed.

Ulbricht was convicted on seven counts related to the operation of the Silk Road marketplace. These included narcotics and money laundering.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld his conviction and sentences in 2017. The U.S. Supreme Court also denied his petition for a writ of certiorari in June 2018.

This prevents Ulbricht from appealing before the Supreme Court, leaving presidential intervention as his only hope of freedom.

The Severity of Ulbricht’s Sentence

man holding clipboard in hand writes petition. Isolated icon on white background. Vector illustration flat design.
Since his conviction, a petition for clemency has been filed at Change.org seeking a re-evaluation and reduction of the sentence.

According to several human rights groups and activists, the investigation and sentencing of Ulbricht violated his Fourth and Sixth Amendment rights.

The investigation and trial were rife with abuse and notable concerns. There were allegations of prosecutorial misconduct, investigative corruption, reliance on unproven allegations and constitutional rights violations.

These allegations serve as reasons as to why Ulbricht needs to receive clemency or be allowed to appeal his case before federal courts.

Many people including Alex Winter, a film director who made a documentary about the Silk Road, regard Ulbricht’s sentence as unjust and draconian.

It is worth noting that this is not the first petition seeking freedom for the Silk Road founder. A similar petition was started seeking a pardon from former President Barack Obama.

This petition became dormant back in 2015 after receiving close to 2,000 signatures.

But the 2018 petition is gaining traction quick, unlike its predecessor. According to the petition’s Change.org page, more than 92,000 people have signed on their support—and those numbers keep going up as the weeks go on.

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Silk Road Admin Pleads Guilty to Drug-Related Charge

Gary Davis’s short stint as a site administrator on Silk Road has left the Irish national facing up to a period of 20 years in prison should he be convicted on charges of distributing narcotics.

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 <<

justice and law concept.Male judge in a courtroom the gavel, working with digital tablet computer on wood table in morning light
Former Silk Road admin Gary Davis pleaded guilty of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, a charge carrying a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

Earlier this month, the 30-year-old pleaded guilty to the charge, acknowledging his administrative role on Silk Road where he went by the alias “Libertas.”

The Silk Road operated for two short years (between 2011 and 2013) during which thousands of drug dealers managed to peddle their illegal wares to buyers numbering in the hundreds of thousands, all under the cover of anonymity.

Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht—who operated using the alias “Dread Pirate Roberts” or “DPR” during his period at the helm of the dark web marketplace—was sentenced to life in prison two years after the site was brought down. That was in 2015, about two years after Davis had stepped down from his role as a site administrator.

Silk Road’s Hierarchy

Federal prosecutors from New York said that Davis operated as a paid moderator on the now-defunct site, a role that came with duties such as responding to inquiries, monitoring user activity, and conflict resolution between buyers and sellers.

The site administrators served below Ulbricht and his advisors, but above forum moderators who primarily monitored how the users of the site interacted and enforced the guidelines on how to transact on the platform, reporting only the issues they couldn’t solve to the admins.

Court documents say that Davis started out in the latter role between May and June 2013 before he was promoted to an administrative role. He acted as an administrator until October 2 of the same year.

Extradition and Prosecution

drug use, crime, addiction and substance abuse concept
Earlier this month, the 30-year-old pleaded guilty to the charge, acknowledging his administrative role on Silk Road where he went by the alias “Libertas.”

Davis had initially intended to fight all efforts of prosecutors to extradite him to the U.S. to appear before the court, but less than three years later, his appeal turned out to be unsuccessful despite claims by his attorneys that he feared how he would be treated in American prisons.

Prosecutors announced his extradition in July, which is roughly four years after he was arrested back in Ireland. On October 5, he stood before U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman and pleaded guilty of conspiring to distribute narcotics, a charge which could put him behind bars for up to 20 years if he’s proven guilty during his sentencing, which is scheduled for January 17, 2019.

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Ross Ulbricht Marked His 5th Year in Prison

This week marks a total of five years of imprisonment for Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht.

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 <<)*

Man in prison.
Ross Ulbricht, creator of the infamous darknet market Silk Road, has marked his five year anniversary behind bars.

Ulbricht began his double life sentence in October 2013 for developing and operating the infamous Silk Road darknet marketplace.

To mark the five-year timeline, Ulbricht’s supporters started a new project aimed at raising awareness of his story as well as the optimism of his ultimate release.

Five Years Passed

FreeRoss.org, a campaign led by Ulbricht’s family and supporters, launched a new project that seeks to unveil in-depth and previously unheard details about Ulbricht’s case to the public.

The presentation is divided into six weekly episodes, with the first released for listening or reading on October 1. The rest of the episodes will be released throughout the month.

Silk Road, which was shut down after Ulbricht’s arrest in 2013, was an underground online marketplace that brought together sellers and buyers in a free-market system.

Most of the items offered were often illegal. To allow their clients to make purchases, Silk Road allowed the use of digital currencies, namely Bitcoin, therefore extending to establish the use of decentralized cryptocurrency.

In their statement, the family also outlined that the even though five years behind bars can often harden many, it is not the case for Ulbricht.

Man behind metal prison bars.
This week marks a total of five years of imprisonment for Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht.

Over the period, he has remained a positive character and is a favorite with private staff and inmates alike.

In fact, he has maintained his non-violence and peace attributes, as shown by his recent act of refusing to participate in assaulting another inmate.

New Series on Ulbricht’s Case Debuts

This weekly series seeks to put Ulbricht’s case in full perspective.

Episode 1 of this series encompasses five chapters: Passing the Torch, Traveling the Silk Road, Fighting for Control, Going Rogue and Targeting Karpeles.

Just like with the initial episode, the rest of the published episodes will feature a YouTube component, visual, not to mention a written script.

Although Ulbricht is still imprisoned, his supporters and family have initiated a Change.org petition urging U.S. President Donald Trump to consider clemency. At press time, the petition has garnered 86,000 signatures and counting.

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