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.
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.
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.