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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Silk Road Founder Moved to Another Location

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ross Ulbricht’s Vision & Philosophy

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

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

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

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

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

Silk Road’s End

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Post-Arrest Events & Subsequent Trial

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dread Pirate Roberts’ Life in Prison

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

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

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

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

Ulbricht’s Life Before Prison

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

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

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

Conviction Actually Feeds Darknet Market Trends

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

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

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

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Silk Road 3 has Upgraded to Silk Road 3.1

The Evolution of the Silk Road Brand

The Original

Founded in 2011 by Ross Ulbricht, a.k.a. Dread Pirate Roberts, Silk Road was the first and definitely the most popular darknet market. But, back in 2013 the FBI arrested Ulbricht, sentenced him to two lifetime sentences and seized the website.

Ever since, people have tried to revive the original brand, and build their success on it, but all of them failed big time.

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 <<

The Revival

Upgrade upgrading software program symbol blue computer keyboard
Just when we thought that we won’t see the Silk Road anymore, the new version is out, and it’s named Silk Road 3.1.

Just after the arrest of Ulbricht in 2013, a second version of the site appeared and claimed that it was run by the administrators from the original website. The admin of the new version was also called Dread Pirate Roberts, even though Ulbricht was already in prison.

People simply assumed that Ulbricht’sassociates wanted to make the government believe they had the wrong guy.

The same year, the FBI arrested two staff members of Silk Road 2, while the mastermind abruptly dissapeared promising to reinstate the website. The next year, its user accounts were hacked and $2.7 million worth of bitcoins were stolen, marking a definite end of the second version of the market.

Version 3

Keeping in mind how version 2 ended, it is understandable why Silk Road 3 received so many negative reactions when it launched in 2014. A host of users claimed that the third version of the marketplace was a scam.

So, the admins launched a new and improved version of the market.

Silk Road 3.1

According to the official website, Silk Road 3.1 was created because its predecessor was shut down and allegedly, most vendors moved to the new version of the market.

Now, if you want to access the site, it’s important to make sure you have all the precautionary measures in place—install Tor browser and opt for a decent VPN application.

When registering to Silk Road 3.1, you will be prompted to type in your username, password, pin code and to provide the correct captcha. You will be shown your personal recovery key; make sure you copy and paste it somewhere safe.

After the registration, simply log in using your credentials and you’re all set to browse the marketplace.

But before that, you’ll be greeted with a message prompting you that you’ll be able to reclaim your lost bitcoins if you were a user of the previous version of the site. Simply fill out the form and submit your request.

Keep in mind, though, that your old username won’t work so you’ll have to come up with a new one.

When it comes to user interface, the 3.1 iteration is quite similar to the previous version. At the top of the page, you’ll see the usual menu: home, messages, notifications, profile, orders, support, settings, uchat, faq, forum and logout, respectively.

Just below the dashboard, there’s a search bar, but if you are more into browsing, you can find your desired item(s) arranged in nine categories on the right side of the user interface.

What Can Users Buy on the 3.1 version?

Currently, there are more than 30,000 listings on the market. You can purchase the following types of drugs:

  • Cannabis
  • Opioids
  • Stimulants
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Psychedelic
  • Dissociatives
  • Prescription drugs

Aside from drugs, you can also buy fake money, eBooks, various accounts, etc. on the Silk Road 3.1.

Forbidden items on the market include weapons, child pornography, poisons and terrorism-related items. Also (interestingly), Russians are not welcome on the market in any capacity, to sell or to buy.

Of course, to purchase an item on the Silk Road 3.1, users have to make a bitcoin deposit. And similar to other markets, there’s a review system for both vendors and customers.

Admins recommend using the escrow payment system at all times, especially when buying from new vendors.

There is also the refund option, but only if it turns out that the vendor was a scammer. If the package is seized by the police, the buyer will not be granted a refund.

The Future of Silk Road 3.1

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Just after the arrest of Ulbricht in 2013, a second version of the site appeared and claimed that it was run by the administrators from the original website.

Most of the site’s old users claim that each attempt to revive the concept is in vain and that the brand is dead. After the Silk Road 2 fiasco, it will take a lot of time for any variant to again win over users’ trust.

As for the Silk Road 3.1, the darknet marketplace’s future is probably not very bright according to customer reactions. But, on the other hand, the ability to reclaim any lost bitcoins from the previous version is definitely a nice gesture which might just result in customers’ good will to forgive and forget. We’ll see!

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American Kingpin: A Book on the Man behind the Silk Road

In 2011, a 26-year-old programmer by the name Ross Ulbricht yearned to create something that would reach the heights of global renown.

Driven by this need to succeed, the Texas-born Ulbricht would proceed to create Silk Road, a simple website hosted on a part of the internet known as the dark web.

The website initially served a purpose most deemed reasonable, if not salient. Ulbricht’s Silk Road started as a form of protest towards hypocrisy embedded deep into the system.

It made it possible for people to get access to psychedelic mushrooms and marijuana from a place that was well distanced from the government’s grasp.

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

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

This idyllic utopia would not last long.

Book.
Nick Bilton speaks about his forthcoming book “American Kingpin,” which documents the rise and fall of the online drug marketplace.

‘American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road’ documents the journey of the young programmer and his brainchild, the Silk Road — throughout its growth, its eventual corruption and its inevitable demise.

Penned by New York Times bestselling author Nick Bilton, the book portrays not only the Silk Road’s development into a haven where cyber criminals could interact and conduct business undeterred, but also Ulbricht’s eye-opening transformation into a full-fledged crime lord who would willingly spill blood to protect his empire.

A Drug Empire Run from Coffee Shops

During Silk Road’s heyday, as Bilton learned through those involved in the drug-fueled enterprise, Ulbricht lived and worked from Glen Park, San Francisco, and would occasionally run his business from a number of coffee shops frequented by the writer.

According to Bilton’s account of the saga, one of the world’s biggest dark web empires was being operated under everyone’s noses.

Bilton drew from a number of sources in writing the book, including over two billion words in the form of private chats, images and journals that were left behind after Ulbricht’s arrest.

A building he habitually passed while walking, the Glen Park Library, would later become the place where the young programmer would be met with the arm of the law, as Bilton explained.

Dread Pirate Roberts

On his helm of power, Ross Ulbricht ran his business as Dread Pirate Roberts. This pseudonym might have been coined initially to serve as nothing more than a screen name but by the end of his tenure as creator of the original Silk Road, it had an ominous ring to it.

The bigger Silk Road grew, the more determined Ulbricht was to protect it, according to Bilton.

The corruption of the bright young mind was inevitable. By the time of its demise, Dread Pirate Roberts had made $1.2 billion in sales and an estimated $80 million in commissions.

Most of his wealth was stashed in bitcoin, the digital form of currency that made all transactions on the dark web possible, according to the FBI.

It was only a matter of time before money and power corrupted his morals.

Dread Pirate Roberts authorized a hit on one of his former employees, Curtis Green, who he suspected had been stealing from him.

Green had also been nabbed in a failed cocaine deal and now posed a threat to him and the continuity of his business as well.

Bilton captured the online exchange between Dread Pirate Roberts and Green’s would-be assassin, demonstrating that the former participant showed no remorse at all.

In fact, he claimed that Green’s lack of integrity had forced him into paying for his death.

Abominably, he retained a picture of what looked like a dead Curtis Green on his computer as proof of the murder.

Dread Pirate Roberts made his first and, ultimately, most consequential error in hiring an assassin who was actually an undercover DEA agent to do his bidding.

The Dark Web Thrives

Dark Web concept for inaccessible web addresses with white text - Dark Web - on a black enter key on a white computer keyboard viewed at a high angle with blur vignette for focus. 3d Rendering.
Driven by this need to succeed, the Texas-born Ulbricht would proceed to create Silk Road, a simple website hosted on a part of the internet known as the dark web.

Ulbricht has been referred to as the modern day Pablo Escobar many times after his arrest, a title befitting of a man who currently shares a prison with the infamous El Chapo.

The 33-year-old has already appealed his sentencing of life in prison and has a strong following behind him, spearheaded by his mother Lyn Ulbricht.

They believe the sentencing was too heavy-handed, an injustice committed on a promising young mind with ideas that could well usurp political state matters.

Ulbricht was ultimately sentenced as a mafia boss. This served as a warning to anyone who dared take the same path he did, a warning that remains unheeded.

Silk Road will forever remain a trailblazer; a template from which others can learn from to avoid making similar mistakes.

Darknet marketplaces have sprung and died, while others thrived to become ten times bigger and even more profitable than Ulbricht’s Silk Road.

Based far from the United States government’s reach, marketplaces such as AlphaBay may employ the same principles used by the now defunct Silk Road.

But they are ultimately more impenetrable and virtually untouchable. The dark web lives on.

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