ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. Silk Road 3 is up and running with a big selection of goods.
Court files show that the narcotics were delivered to their personal physical address in Furth. With an estimated weight value of 1800 grams amphetamine, 1700 grams cannabis, 120 ecstasy tablets and some amount of cocaine. During investigations, German authorities seized a package which they examined thoroughly at their Schleswig-Holstein station in early 2015. Thereafter, the older sibling who by that time was a teacher had his apartment searched by officers. This resulted in authorities arresting the suspect at his place of work.
A few months down the line his younger brother was also captured. They were both presented before Nuremberg-Furth’s 7th Criminal Court, and following their confession the magistrate sentenced them to 4 yrs. incarceration plus also arranged for their rehabilitation in a recovery center.
Silk Road is a currently defunct darknet site that was previously used to sell narcotics during its active days. It was run using a Tor hidden platform where users could browse anonymously without fear of being monitored by outsiders. The website was first opened in February 2011, though construction had begun 6 months earlier. Initially there were just but a handful of seller accounts on display, and new users had to buy an account through auction. However, later as Silk Road developed a fixed monetary sum was placed on each new retailer account.
The site was administered by Ross Ulbricht who went by the pseudonym “Dread Pirate Roberts” or simply DPR; he championed libertarian ideals while criticizing internet regulation by authorities. Other than him, two other individuals known as Smedley and Variety Jones were closely involved in overseeing the Silk Road site’s growth and overall success.
Ulbricht was arrested in October 2013 by FBI agents after they discovered he owned Silk Road, the takedown happened in San Francisco at a public library named Glen Park. The man was convicted to 7 criminal charges in a Manhattan U.S. Federal Court, and given a life sentence without parole. Some of the charges prosecutors brought forward against DPR in court were money laundering, computer hacking, conspiracy to traffic drugs and attempt to kill six people. They alleged that he paid $730,000 to assassins for the murders, though none of them actually occurred in real life. Ulbricht was not sentenced for any of the murder-for-hire claims.
From this Silk Road operation, cops seized about 26,000 bitcoins with an estimated value of $3.6 million. Moreover, during trial FBI announced that they will continue holding up the bitcoins until his case was finished, after which they would be officially liquidated. Much later during the case cops announced that they intercepted another 144,000 bitcoins belonging to DPR, with an estimated value of $28.5 million. Yet another $87 million worth of bitcoins was also found on Ross’ computer.
After his capture, the Silk Road trial on Ulbricht began on 13th Jan 2015 where he claimed to have opened the site, but later on transferred control to other personnel who took charge of operations. Ulbricht’s attorneys argued that the account name Dread Pirate Roberts was actually being run by a man named Mark Karpeles, and that it was Karpeles who used Ross as a fall guy. However, presiding judge Katherine Forrest ruled that those were mere speculations and prosecution would strictly be based on Silk Road evidence already with the court.
Even after official closure of the first Silk Road site, administrators announced on 6th November 2013 that they had opened another similar network named Silk Road 2.0, purportedly led by a new Dread Pirate Roberts. During its first few days, they recreated the predecessor’s original site setup and also promised enhanced security upgrades to prevent crackdown. But Silk Road 2.0 was also shut down in November 2014 as part of the “Operation Onymous.”