Six People Died, Allegedly Overdosed On Silk Road Drugs

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Ross Ulbricht

According to the US government, six victims of fatal drug overdoses purchased the drugs that killed them on an online marketplace — Silk Road. The Silk Road, an online market that sold illegal drugs, was closed down in 2013 after its creator, Ross Ulbricht, was arrested by the FBI. The Silkroad operated from the year 2011 all the way to 2013, with all payment for drugs or other services made with bitcoin. Ulbricht, who is believed to have made about eighteen million dollars in profit, has been convicted of money laundering and narcotics charges, the maximum sentence for which is life imprisonment. Two of the victims’ parents will be allowed to testify at the hearing on May 15th.


Ulbricht’s head attorney, Joshua Dratel, has requested that the judge postpone the sentencing hearing because his defense wants enough time to review the six deaths — this being the evidence that leads many to believe that the government plans to push for a life imprisonment sentence. Ulbricht has been found guilty of a total of seven charges, with three of them being drug counts. The attorney, Dratel, describes the information from the US government received by the defense to be “inadequate”, arguing that Silkroad actually went out of its way in the interest of minimizing the risks faced by both its buyers and its sellers.

Joshua DratelThe fact that the government has introduced that particular issue — the website, Silk Road, allegedly being responsible for deaths that may or may not have been obtained through the site — requires that related issues be made relevant. Dratel suggested that the Silk Road made substance abuse far safer by eliminating certain dangers, and that it very deliberately formulated and implemented danger reduction strategies to keep buyers and sellers as safe as possible. Ulbricht’s defense lawyers hope to postpone the sentencing for one month at the least.