Long Years In Prison for The Silk Road Kingpin

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Federal prosecutors in Manhattan recently filed papers seeking a lengthy prison sentence for the Silkroad founder, Ross Ulbricht. Silk Road was once a thriving website that enabled users to sell anonymously and buy LSD, cocaine, heroin and other drugs online before it was brought down by authorities in 2013.


Ross UlbrichtProsecutors, in a sentencing memo filed in The Federal District Court, depicted the Silk Road founder as a digital drug kingpin who operated an online black market that had left fatal overdoses and addiction in its wake. Government lawyers wrote in the filings that Ross Ulbricht earned high profits from the operation of Silk Road amassing millions of dollars in commissions. They said that he was willing to protect his enterprise by use of violence as it was found that he solicited the murders of individuals he saw as threats to his enterprise.

Although the defendant could face life imprisonment after his sentence, government lawyers, in their filing, did not seek for the maximum term. Instead, the prosecutors said that the defendant should receive a sentence substantially above the mandatory minimum which is 20 years.

The Silk Road founder was convicted on seven counts on February, which includes, money laundering, computer hacking, engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, distributing narcotics on the internet, charges that carry potential life terms.

Joshua DratelThe defense lawyer Mr. Dratel, in his submissions to the judge, argued that the Silk Road website had been “far safer” than the typical street drug dealing. He also pointed out that the government lawyers could not establish a link between the overdoses and the site. He argued that Mr. Ulbricht should receive a sentence “substantially below” what the federal sentencing guidelines recommends, which was that the defendant be sentenced to life.

Prosecutors took a shot at the “risk reduction” submissions brought by the defense by arguing that applauding Silk Road for its harm reduction measures is similar to praising a heroine seller for giving out a clean needle with each dime bag.