Roger Ver Extend Support to Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht

Homepage of Bitcoin Cash cryptocurrency BCH
Bitcoin Cash proponent Roger Ver has just reaffirmed his support for Ross Ulbricht, imprisoned for creating and operating the now-defunct Silk Road.

Roger Ver, a fervent advocate of Bitcoin Cash as well as the head of Bitcoin.com, has reaffirmed his support for Ross Ulbricht, creator of the infamous dark web marketplace Silk Road.

Also sometimes referred to as the “Bitcoin Jesus,” Ver sent a letter to the Arizona correctional facility where Ulbricht is serving his double-life sentence.

Promoting #FreeRoss Campaign Via Twitter

Although the exact contents of this letter are undisclosed, Ver later called on his many Twitter followers to also follow suit and send a letter to the detained Ulbricht. What’s more, Ver also attached the link to the FreeRoss.org website in efforts to advocate for his ultimate release. In his statement, Ver outlines that he has already sent Ulbricht a letter, and others should do the same.

This is a significant boost to the #FreeRoss initiative, which was established a few years back by Ulbricht’s family and colleagues and which seeks to see the Silk Road founder finally get out of prison.

Ulbricht’s case has triggered numerous debates with free market supporters believing that he should be freed, with their opponents citing that some of the items which were sold through his dark web marketplace were illegal.

One man who has posed himself against the Bitcoin.com head both in the case of Ross Ulbricht and Bitcoin Cash is Craig S. Wright, who outlined in a blog post that he is strongly opposed to criminal markets. According to him, Ulbricht, as well as others just like him, are all criminals. He continues to outline that these individuals are neither libertarians nor freedom fighters. These individuals, he said in his blog, are just predators and are the reason Bitcoin was created to make them even more complicated.

Bitcoins fall in mobile phone from the network on a dark background.
Nonetheless, numerous Bitcoiners give credit to Ulbricht as the individual who popularized digital currency and essentially paved the way for its more extensive use and adoption.

Nonetheless, numerous Bitcoiners give credit to Ulbricht as the individual who popularized digital currency and essentially paved the way for its more extensive use and adoption. Ulbricht established a platform that allows users to purchase things through it.

Timely Response to Ulbricht’s Plea

In December 2018, Ulbricht had written a letter to Ver seeking his assistance in getting clemency for his double life sentence. In that letter, Ulbricht highlighted that he was out of options and his best shot at freedom was a pardon from the U.S president. What’s more, Ulbricht had also outlined that he needs the crypto community to back him in his efforts to obtain clemency.

Ulbricht’s Change.org petition has garnered over 130,000 signatures. Furthermore, the campaign also surprisingly received the backing of a State senator as well as a political party. In fact, the Libertarian Party in its annual convention last year passed a resolution directed to President Donald Trump urging him to grant the former Silk Road founder full pardon.

 

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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Ross Ulbricht Files Petition for Panel Rehearing

Close up of Business man pointing and signing petition
Just over two weeks following the denial of his appeal, Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht has filed a petition for panel rehearing.

Three years after he was sentenced to serve two life imprisonments plus 40 years for conspiracy to distribute narcotics, computer hacking and money laundering, former Silk Road owner Ross Ulbricht still has some fight left in him.

Just over two weeks ago, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied the 34-year-old convict’s appeal, but Ulbricht’s fighting spirit has led him to launch another request for rehearing.

Ulbricht’s petition for Panel Rehearing en banc, which was filed on February 7, highlights a number of points that support his request for rehearing.

First, Ulbricht notes that the trial counsel’s refusal to present him with his client’s complete file not only impeded his ability to exercise his right to pursue the relief offered by Rule 33 but also served as a good reason for the court to grant him a time extension to obtain and go through the aforementioned client file.

According to Judge Katherine B. Forrest, Ulbricht’s quest to exercise his right to Rule 33 is warranted, but should not be misused as an excuse to fish for new evidence or to reignite litigations.

But a previous panel decision shows that the court’s denial of Ulbricht’s appeals may not be construed to be in the interests of justice.

In the prior case, the lying of a juror during voir dire resulted in the reversal of the decision to deny a new trial motion despite the defendant learning of the juror’s dishonesty after a trial.

Ulbricht outlines three more points in his argument to get a trial rehearing:

  1. He was only informed of the government’s use of pen/trap data after a book detailing his time as a Silk Road admin, American Kingpin, came out in 2017. Prior to then, he had no idea that his home had been put under illegal electronic surveillance by the government during investigations.
  2. Upon requesting the pen/trap data, the government blatantly refused to produce it.
  3. The government finally conceded to hand Ulbricht the pen/trap data he needed, but by the time they promised to send it to his counsel, only three days were left before the Rule 33 deadline was to arrive.
Courtroom, Judge, male judge in black mirror background
According to Judge Katherine B. Forrest, Ulbricht’s quest to exercise his right to Rule 33 is warranted, but should not be misused as an excuse to fish for new evidence or to reignite litigations.

It is evident that the panel’s decision to deny his request did not take into account these considerations, which would have warranted a rehearing in several other cases.

Also worth noting is that before trial, Ulbricht’s counsel had attempted to move against the inclusion of evidence from five pen/trap orders that allowed the government to illegally record his internet activity as well as his IP address. This too was denied.

Ulbricht has thus far had a number of appeals denied by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

In March last year, the Silk Road founder appealed two decisions made by Judge Forrest to suppress his motion for a time extension as he prepared to exercise his right to Rule 33 and to deny his petition for a panel rehearing.

The 34-year-old looks to continue seeking a trial rehearing even as the FreeRoss campaign gathers momentum in a Change.org clemency petition to have the former dark web entrepreneur freed.

 

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 Founder’s Request for New Trial Dismissed

Authentic restored antique jury’s box in courthouse
Ross Ulbricht, the founder of the now-defunct darknet marketplace Silk Road, has again lost his bid for a new trial.

Ross Ulbricht, the founder of the infamous darknet marketplace Silk Road has lost his latest bid for a new trial.

Ulbricht sought to push for a new trial using newly found evidence, but the court dismissed his request by terming the appeal as “untimely.”

What’s more, the court also denied his request for a time extension to gather new evidence, outlining that reimagining old evidence as gathered from three pen/traps did not entitle Ulbricht to a new trial.

Silk Road Case

Silk Road was an online marketplace that facilitated the trading of illegal merchandise such as firearms and drugs by use of the digital currency Bitcoin. The marketplace was shut down by authorities in 2013 after they arrested Ulbricht, who was then going by the online alias “Dead Pirate Roberts.”

In 2015, Ulbricht was convicted of money laundering, conspiracy to distribute narcotics and computer hacking. His final judgement was a double life sentence plus 40 years, without the possibility of parole.

During the trial, Ulbricht’s defense team outlined that the government was portraying him more of a “facilitator” of the alleged illegal transactions on Silk Road, rather than a co-conspirator. However, the judge asserted that Silk Road was intentionally and specifically designed to establish a broad black marketplace for money laundering and illegal transactions, such as the sale of narcotics.

Not the First Request Dismissed

United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.
United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

Since his sentencing, Ulbricht and his legal team have attempted to get a new trial for his case several times—all of which have been rejected by the courts.

In his last appeal, Ulbricht argued that the data gathered in the government’s pen/trap orders (a method of collecting evidence by federal investigators) could still be considered evidence to grant him a new trial.

But earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals denied Ulbricht’s request, recalling that he had moved to suppress the evidence captured in these orders during his trail years ago. Accordingly, the data could not be considered as new evidence.

This Court of Appeals’ statement reaffirms an earlier decision made last year by the U.S. District Court based on the same reasoning.

 

 

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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Ross Ulbricht Moved to a New High-Security Prison

Silk Road darknet market
Ross Ulbricht, founder of the notorious Silk Road darknet market, has been transferred to USP Tucson, a high-security prison based in Arizona.

The founder of the infamous dark web marketplace Silk Road, which was notorious for facilitating illegal trades, has been moved to another high-security prison. Ross Ulbricht is now held up at the USP (United States Penitentiary) Tucson high-security prison in Arizona.

In this new prison, Ulbricht will be locked up among some high-profile murderers and gang members, but likely fewer than the previous facility where he was jailed.

Shifting Prisons Again

USP Tucson is known for housing a handful of high-profile convicted murderers, notably Louis Eppolito and H. Rap Brown.

The facility also holds up a significant amount of sex offenders, credited to the prison’s exclusive Sex Offender Management Program it runs.

Currently, Ulbricht is set to continue serving his double life sentence here together with an additional 40-year sentence with no chance of parole.

Reason for the Transfer

Since his conviction, Ulbricht has been moving from one prison to the next. Nonetheless, this prison transfer was authorized after Judge Katherine Bolan Forrest made a recommendation. Judge Forrest is also the same judge who oversaw his trial.

USP Tucson was one among the two recommendations, the first being FCI Petersburg, a medium-security prison. This move was aimed at offering Ulbricht a safer and better ecosystem which would allow him to serve the remainder of his sentence without getting harmed.

Judge gavel and scales of justice and book background
Judge Katherine handed Ulbricht his double-lifetime sentence after the court found him guilty of various counts including conspiracy to assist in narcotics trafficking, computer hacking, as well as money laundering.

Initially, during his trial, Ulbricht was locked up at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a New York-based correctional facility. In July 2017, after his sentencing, he was moved to Colorado-based USP Florence. This correctional facility goes by the moniker the Alcatraz of the Rockies.

It is here that Ross was serving his sentence until the recent transfer move pushed through, which now has him transferred to Arizona-based USP Tucson.

About Silk Road:

Judge Katherine handed Ulbricht his double-lifetime sentence after the court found him guilty of various counts including conspiracy to assist in narcotics trafficking, computer hacking, as well as money laundering. All the charges arose from the fact that he was the creator and head admin of Silk Road, a now-defunct dark web marketplace.

The marketplace facilitated the buying and selling of goods using cryptocurrency. Ulbricht created Silk Road as part of a vision to establish a free marketplace which would facilitate anonymous online transactions without necessitating for the users to provide personal details. The creation of Silk Road started back in 2010, with the market operating for three years before its operations were seized by the FBI in 2013. The site officially became defunct after the arrest of Ulbricht by the federal authorities.

Ulbricht’s family is still optimistic that he will ultimately be transferred to a medium-level security facility since, according to them, he is not a dangerous criminal.

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 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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