Silk Road Drug Dealers Jailed for Total of 56 Years

Five former Manchester University students were handed a cumulative sentence of 56 years by Manchester Crown Court Judge Michael Leeming for selling over $1.2 million USD worth of drugs on the now-defunct 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 <<

Wooden Judges Gavel with Soundboard and Medical Injection Syringe on Grunge Wooden Table
Five London men will be serving a cumulative total of 56 years in prison for selling a large amount of drugs over Silk Road.

Basil Assaf, 26, was charged as the ringleader of the group and received a 15-year sentence while his right-hand man, 25-year-old James Roden, was slapped with 12 years in prison.

Jaikishen Patel and Elliott Hyams, both 26, were charged as heavily involved members of the group and were each handed 11-year sentences by Judge Leeming.

Additionally, 28-year-old Joshua Morgan was handed a much shorter sentence than the rest. He was known as the packer and the transporter of drugs in the group.

Silk Road Dealings

As is indicated in a press release from the U.K. National Crime Agency, the five London residents made a fortune selling drugs over the dark web from the beginning of Silk Road up until its ultimate demise in 2013.

It is estimated that the group sold 1.4kg of ketamine, the liquid equivalent of 240,000 ecstasy pills, and 1.2kg of 2CB, netting $1.14 million USD in the process.

Such profit margins from Silk Road allowed the five to spend money freely and it is said that they frequently vacationed in Jamaica, Amsterdam and the Bahamas.

One member is said to have paid off all his student loans and bought a house using his cut of the profits.

About the Group

Drug bust arrest with handcuffs, fingerprint ID, and fake sample evidence.
Basil Assaf, 26, was charged as the ringleader of the group and received a 15-year sentence while his right-hand man, 25-year-old James Roden, was slapped with 12 years in prison.

Eventually, as is bound to happen when there is a lot of money passing through a few hands, fighting broke out within the ranks of the group.

Assaf accused Hyams of unreliability and sacked him. Hyams, bitter from the confrontation, is said to have stolen a large amount of drugs from the group in retaliation.

The two then got into a heated text exchange which led to Assaf disclosing the nature of their business to Hyams’ mother.

Not long had passed after their rift when the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation raided and seized Silk Road servers.

Their information was forwarded to the NCA, and officers reacted quickly to raid the group’s headquarters, which was a shared flat.

Approximately 11,000 doses of LSD, four sets of scales, jiffy bags, envelopes and heat sealing devices were found.

Assaf and his flatmate Roden were arrested that same day, as was Hyams. Patel was arrested a year later.

In a public statement, NCA Senior Operations Manager Ian Glover commended the FBI for taking down Silk Road and providing them with the tools necessary to make the arrests.

According to him, the cover of anonymity is what makes dark web criminals think that they are safe from the law.

The Silk Road case remains a pivotal landmark for both these dark web users and law enforcement since it was the first dark web marketplace in existence and the first to be seized and taken down by the FBI.

It might be a long time before newer cases involving the now-closed Silk Road marketplace are finally settled.

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Silk Road Founder’s Latest Petition for Rehearing Denied

Once again, the man behind the notorious Silk Road is back in the news. Ross Ulbricht, founder and lead administrator of the infamous darknet market, just started a new chapter in his seemingly endless back-and-forth battle with the courts in an effort to appeal his life sentence.

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 <<

Petition word cloud concept
A U.S. court has again denied Ross Ulbricht, the man behind the notorious Silk Road market, a petition seeking for a rehearing of his life sentence.

For the past five years, Ulbricht’s legal team has worked continuously to pursue several options to sway the court. But viable options appear to be diminishing—particularly after the outcome of his latest court petition.

Last week, his efforts to secure a case rehearing were quickly thwarted when New York Southern District Court Judge Katherine B. Forrest denied Ross Ulbricht’s petition.

Ulbricht first received his sentence back in 2015 with the judge ruling for life imprisonment without any possibility of parole.

The sentence was for the charges of establishing and operating Silk Road, then a highly famous darknet marketplace that was ultimately shut down in 2013 after Ulbricht’s arrest.

Ever since, his defense team has headed a series of legal battles attempting to fight his conviction for various charges, including conspiracy to traffic drugs and money laundering.

The Latest Setback in the Silk Road Case

Unlike before, the delivery of the judgment was more laconic, with the judge blatantly stating that the said motion was denied.

This conciseness of the judgment delivery is perhaps a reflection of the mere fact that the judge had earlier made an initial ruling with regards to the arguments set forth by the defendant.

The same judge had denied an earlier motion presented to her by the defendant subsequently extending the time for an appeal motion.

In her delivery, Judge Forrest went to outline that the motion is neither a door for anyone to re-litigate what is already litigated, nor a chance to carry out an effort to come up with new evidence in the Silk Road case.

Back then, the Judge took notice that at the time, the court did take into consideration that Ulbricht’s counsel was not part of the trial.

Even so, the transcripts indicate that the evidence to which he is now referring to (claims that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was closely following his online movements) was however well known and used in the trial.

In her statement, she said that this was not any new and as such, there was no substantive cause shown that would result in a delay in the deadline.

Surveillance During Silk Road Investigation

DENIED word made with building blocks
For the past five years, Ulbricht’s legal team has worked continuously to pursue several options to sway the court.

According to Ulbricht, the court has not only overlooked but has also misapplied and misapprehended pertinent law and certain facts.

In his defense, he outlines that the court is misguided in its perception of the evidence brought forth by the defendant since it is, as a matter of fact, fresh evidence which was not earlier disclosed or known to the court at the trial period.

In reference to his counsel, Ulbricht indicates that what was unknown to the court before the Silk Road trial was that the authorities were making use of unauthorized surveillance tools in their efforts to keep track of both his physical movements together with his location while he was in his residence.

What’s more, the defendant’s counsel also went ahead to claim that the U.S. government was in possession of both additional material and internet activity monitoring data collected by the FBI during the Silk Road investigation, which are both substantial evidence crucial for the defense’s preparation.

This, they said, is because the government heavily relied on this material when they applied for the residence and laptop search warrants, as is required by U.S. legal codes which govern criminal investigations by law enforcement.

This material was crucial in pinning Ulbricht as the operator of the Silk Road darknet market.

The defense’s earlier request for an extension of time was so as to not only acquire but also scrutinize this data.

This is among the several applications Ross Ulbricht has filed.

In May 2017, he had also filed for an appeal for his sentence of life imprisonment and, just like Judge Forrest did this year, the panel of judges in the Northeastern Appeals Court also denied his request.

The reasons for the rejection of the appeals seem to center around the fact that the defendant’s counsel always files for an appeal under the same grounds.

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Silk Road Founder Appeals to the Supreme Court

Ross Ulbricht, the brains behind the underground website Silk Road, renowned for the easy-access sale of illicit drugs, has officially made his appeal plea to the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS).

This formal application seeks to set up a hearing to overturn his sentencing of life imprisonment without the likelihood of any parole.

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 <<

Wooden judge gavel and red legal book on wooden table
Lawyers of Ross Ulbricht, the creator of the Silk Road, have officially filed an appeal court order with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Defined as the writ of certiorari, this plea orders the next lower court (the Court of Appeals), to immediately submit all its records to the Supreme Court for it to review and consequently make a ruling.

Supreme Court to Possibly Review Silk Road Case

The SCOTUS comprises a nine-member bench that functions as the ultimate arbiter in all legal matters.

Of the nine in the current court, five are considered reasonably conservative while the rest (four in number) are generally more permissive.

Neil Gorsuch, the overall head of the court just recently appointed by U.S. President Donald Trump, is considered to be reasonably fair on issues of the Fourth Amendment, which forms the grounds on which Ulbricht is basing his appeal case.

Nevertheless, despite the hype surrounding this case, much is yet to be done before anything substantial is known.

Amazingly, the SCOTUS is not obligated to go ahead with this petition.

In truth, the SCOTUS only sits to hear approximately 150 cases of the more than 7,000 pleas submitted to its premises on an annual basis.

In most cases, the rulings as delivered by the federal Circuit Courts act as the ultimate word for many of the cases.

Surprisingly, of the several appellate courts, the Second Circuit (which delivered Ulbricht’s ruling) receives the lowest reversal frequency from the SCOTUS.

This means that for Ulbricht, taking the case to the SCOTUS may not offer him the reprieve he so much hopes for even if the SCOTUS decides to take up the matter.

In many cases, the SCOTUS will only hear a writ if it concerns national significance or if they want to lay the curtain on existing inconsistencies in a decision, or even to establish precedence.

What’s more, they only hear a case if four of the nine justices vote to accept it.

The clerks of the justices do the initial reviewing of the writ, and it is from there that they draft a summary recommending a hearing.

The justices then convene for a conference to deliberate on these recommendations and decide on whether or not to proceed with the trial.

Two Questions for Silk Road Appeal Argument

Rubber stamping that says 'Appeal'.
Ross Ulbricht, the brains behind the underground website Silk Road, renowned for the easy-access sale of illicit drugs, has officially made his appeal plea to the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS).

The plea submitted by Ulbricht’s lawyers centers on two critical questions as per the writ:

  1. Is the Fourth Amendment violated in case of a warrantless seizure without probable cause on a person’s internet traffic?
  2. Does the Sixth Amendment allow judges to require that facts be presented to support an otherwise unreasonable sentence?

However, looking at the U.S. Constitution, there is a particularly peculiar aspect especially since the document outlines the duties of the government and its characteristic functions, but it also describes the amendments to those precise functions.

The top ten form what is called the “Bill of Rights,” which are restrictive laws that prohibit the government from committing certain acts.

The pertinent part of the Fourth Amendment on which Ulbricht’s case centers involves citizens’ right to privacy.

The amendment states that their privacy should not be violated unless the courts issue a warrant upon probable cause.

Similarly, the pertinent Sixth Amendment section states that the defendant in any criminal prosecution has the right to a fair and speedy trial under an impartial jury.

With this in mind, Ulbricht’s lead attorney outlines that the Silk Road case presents two significant constitutional questions with a wider significance for criminal defendant rights in general.

Urgent Need for Digital Age Legislation

Warrantless searches potentially play a significant role in this particular case since the information the prosecutors used against the defendant was apparently compiled under a third-party doctrine.

This allowed Silk Road investigators to carry out searches on Ross Ulbricht’s digital activities, presumed to be publically accessible via a telecommunications firm and a modem.

The doctrine in itself needs immediate amending notably because it dates back to a time when laptops, phones and internet services did not form a critical part of a person’s daily routine.

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Corrupt Silk Road Agent Gets Additional 2 Years in Jail

A former U.S. Secret Service agent by the name Shaun Bridges just received a sentence of two additional years in prison for his corrupt practices during the takedown of the infamous darknet market 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 <<

Man in jail behind bars
Former Silk Road investigator Shaun Bridges has been sentenced to two more years in prison after confessing to a new crime.

According to District Court Judge Richard Seeborg, the totality of crimes committed by Bridges, together with his continued dishonesty to the authorities, was a total betrayal of trust and one of the worst offenses.

In August of this year, Bridges subsequently pleaded guilty to two new accounts of related forfeit and money laundering.

Two years back in 2015, Bridges had been sentenced to 71 months of imprisonment after he was found guilty of stealing money from online traders when he was investigating the underground dark web market Silk Road, which was shut down in 2013.

Judge Seeborg further identified that it was mainly troubling that Bridges continued to engage in more efforts to hide information even after he had entered into a plea agreement.

The judge also noted that Bridges had changed his perception of his criminal acts and seemed to be acting in a manner to suggest he was moving forward with his life.

Bridges spoke briefly during his hearing and began crying as he addressed the judge. According to his statement, he was aware of why he was in that position and what had led him to that point.

He further spoke to the court about the state of his former prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Bridges noted that during his time in the prison, he was unable to access any recreational or educational facilities and opportunities, a factor he says contributed to his admission.

More than a year ago after the Silk Road shutdown and subsequent investigations into Bridges’ behavior, U.S. federal authorities strongly suggested that even after Bridges had been dismissed from the Secret Service and penned his signature on his first guilty plea, he had already transferred himself over 1,600 bitcoins illegally.

U.S. federal authorities had earlier seized those digital currencies from a European exchange known as Bitstamp, although the exchange later challenged this seizure.

According to an August 2017 court filing, Bridges had allegedly laundered these funds from the U.S. government through moving the coins from the BTC-e account and moving them into several other online accounts and wallets.

In January 2016 when the federal agents approached him, Bridges directed them to how and where to locate a total of 600 bitcoins which were then at Bitfinex and another lot of about 1,000 bitcoins safeguarded in a cold hardware wallet.

What he did not know then was that the Secret Service had already discovered the Bitfinex coins.

During the court proceedings, Assistant U.S. Attorney William Frentzen described that although Bridges did deserve the punishment, he also did help with the crackdown.

In his explanation, Frentzen explained that the reason why Bridges earned an additional sentence was because he provided new and more information which he had not produced earlier in the proceedings.

Mallet of the judge
Bridges earned an additional sentence

In an exclusive sentencing memorandum filed before the hearing this month, Laurel Headley, who serves as Bridges’ attorney, asked the court to impose a two-year sentence which Bridges would serve together with the 71-month sentence he was already then serving for the corruption in the Silk Road investigation.

According to Headley, the fact that Bridges did, in the end, come clean and cooperated with authorities should at least represent something while issuing the judgment.

She noted that unlike earlier, her client had been more cooperative with the authorities, even allowing unfettered questioning.

Before this hearing, Bridges parents had both submitted letters to Judge Seeborg asking him to consider their son’s predicament since his wife had just divorced, further requesting a “fair decision” to assist him in putting his life “back on track.”

It is highly likely that Shaun Bridges will be locked in a facility in proximity to Maryland, his home state.

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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 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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