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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Mistakes Made by Silk Road’s Dread Pirate Roberts

fbi
How the authorities busted the people behind the original Silk Road and Silk Road 2.0?

The original Silkroad and Silkroad 2.0 – these two sites may have avoided the authorities for quite some time, but now the two sites are demise – shut down by the FBI.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

So, how did the authorities caught the people behind Silkroad and Silkroad 2.0? In this article, we are going to explore that question.

The Idea

Before we address the main question, it’s best that we cover a few important details. Otherwise, you could end up backtracking on some information you might need to get grasp the entire picture.

At its core, the Silkroad was basically just like any other online store. However, what mainstream online stores can’t do is sell illicit merchandise or services.

There are basically two major problems when selling or purchasing items online. Let’s tackle the first one.

The first problem is identity. The mainstream internet is being monitored by the authorities. Everyone knows this. Hence, selling or purchasing illegal items may prove to be tough. Then, the solution came.

At some point, the Tor network was invented. The exact mechanism how the Tor network system works is beyond this article.

Yes, it can be very complex. For now, let’s just say that Tor can help you surf a special network, which is known as the Dark Web, anonymously.

With anonymity, you can free yourself from the worry of someone monitoring your surfing history. But here’s the second problem.

Money trail! Whenever you do a transaction, there’s always a money trail. This is particularly the case with digital money that came from the bank.

Even if you are anonymous when you purchase something illicit, the money can be traced back to you. That means that you could end up with a new cellmate. Then, the breakthrough came along.

Bitcoins! Bitcoins was the last piece of the puzzle that allowed Silkroad 1 and 2 to flourish.

Bitcoin is a form of online currency that allows anonymous currency transaction. After these two issues were solved, Silkroad was born, and the rest is history.

Now the question is – if the Tor network and Bitcoin currency provided the security by being anonymous, how did the Silkroad founder get busted?

Silkroad and Silkroad 2.0 Bust

dread-pirate-roberts
Months before Silkroad got popular, Ross Ulbricht was trying to spread the news of his new site; which was Silkroad.

First of all, nothing in this world is completely secure. Even the most secure network in the planet can be hacked.

It’s just a matter of allocating enough time and resources. Once we have that on the table, we can tackle the question a bit further.

The man behind the Silkroad was Ross Ulbricht a.k.a. “Dread Pirate Roberts” (DPR). He was the genius or the mastermind (depending on how you look at it) that married the idea of anonymous surfing and anonymous currency, thus creating an anonymous marketplace.

With Silkroad, one can actually sell anything. It’s just that the site was popularly used as a marketplace for illegal merchandise.

The idea of an anonymous currency and an anonymous network may be impressive, but the real reason Ross Ulbricht got busted was the plain old human error.

Months before Silkroad got popular, Ross Ulbricht was trying to spread the news of his new site; which was Silkroad. He did it by visiting forums sites.

In the forum posts, he left his email so anyone can contact him if anyone is interested. Here’s the thing – he publicly left an email with his name on it! This was the initial scent that the authorities followed, which eventually led to the fall of Silkroad 1. Now, how about Silkroad 2?

Silkroad 2.0 officially went up a month later after the shutdown of the original Silkroad. The man supposedly running Silkroad 2.0 was Blake Benthall, also known as “Defcon.” Here’s the thing – someone obviously didn’t learn their lesson.

When Silk Road 2.0 went up, the site can be traced to an anonymous server. In the server details, the authorities found out that the server was registered to a [email protected]! From then on, it’s Silk Road 1 all over again.

Bottom Line

There is no such thing as a 100% secure network on this planet. Even if you can create something that is truly secure, which is close to impossible, you still need humans to access it.

And that is the biggest security hole – human error. Just like Silk Road 1 and 2. Everyone thought that it would be a supercomputer doing complicated stuff to crack the site’s security.

When in fact, it’s actually a human error, like leaving an email unintentionally that will cause the first domino to fall down.

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American Black Cross Inspired by the Silk Road Creator’s Case

A charity organization known as American Black Cross was recently formed to help U.S. political prisoners attain freedom; the group says their inspiration came from Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht’s case; many people still believe he’s a political prisoner jailed for victimless crimes.

Bitcoin users are encouraged to donate towards their noble cause which champions the release of such unfairly imprisoned people.

All contributions will help in fighting the war on drugs, victimless charges and also promote overall internet freedom.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

The American Black Cross has been formed to champion the rights of political prisoners, especially those who have been jailed for victimless crimes.
The American Black Cross has been formed to champion the rights of political prisoners, especially those who have been jailed for victimless crimes.

Ulbricht was given a double life imprisonment sentence for hosting Silk Road, a darknet marketplace that dealt in prohibited drugs.

The war on drugs has ruined the lives of many individuals and their families.

It started in the 1980s when the government launched a campaign dubbed “Say No to Drugs,” this operation saw the U.S. prison population multiply by up to 5 times.

Statistics show that around 86% of the entire population of prisoners in federal incarceration are jailed for victimless crimes; these charges include drug offenses, public disorder and other illegal activities that don’t infringe directly on other citizens’ rights.

Ross Ulbricht is the most widely recognized figure arrested for a victimless crime; he was arrested in October 2013 for operating the Silk Road drug marketplace.

Despite his incarceration, many cryptocurrency users and those within the libertarian communities hold it that Ross’ trial lacked fairness, plus the prison sentence was quite extreme.

Apart from receiving a double life sentence, the Silk Road founder was also not given a chance for parole.

Ulbricht’s family believes their son was hurriedly prosecuted without any solid evidence from the government on the Silk Road case; they claim it was a legal atrocity and have since been campaigning for his release, including millions of other people who have been jailed for victimless crimes.

Ross’ family has fully endorsed American Black Cross; they recently reminded well-wishers at the end of 2016 that one of the ways they can help Ulbricht is by making tax-deductible donations to the organization.

Founded in 2015, the 501 (c)(3) nonprofit charity organization’s main goal is championing the rights of U.S political prisoners, a class of individuals that’s rapidly growing by the day.

The institution accepts payment in various forms such as bitcoin donation and credit card transfers; all funds are channeled towards legal aid as well as defense funding for criminal charges where certain civil rights have been denied.

Political prisoners or their respective families can submit their requests for help from the charitable organization.

If you’re facing a victimless indictment similar to the Silk Road, or represent a person who was imprisoned while resisting the federal government, Black Cross can offer some assistance, especially if you believe the case might have a greater impact beyond the litigants’ interests.

All submissions would be checked by the Review Committee for consideration, and if they believe your case is strong enough some assistance or funding will be provided.

A charity organization known as American Black Cross was recently formed to help U.S. political prisoners attain freedom; the group says their inspiration came from Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht’s case
A charity organization known as American Black Cross was recently formed to help U.S. political prisoners attain freedom; the group says their inspiration came from Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht’s case

The American Black Cross consists of a group of volunteers and human rights activists, whose main goal is to defend the prisoners of American Imperium such as Ross Ulbricht of Silk Road, promote humanitarian relief and also abolish the nation’s industrial jail systems.

According to them, Black Cross acts as a civil liberties protection organization, focused on defending those who’ve opposed repressive government policies via the internet.

Their recent plan currently is committing funds towards assisting the legal efforts of the incarcerated Silk Road creator.

The organization considers Ulbricht’s conviction bitterly unfair and is actively involved in helping him with the ongoing appeal.

Political cases like that of Silk Road have a tendency of shaping precedence in future rulings; that’s the reason why many people in the cryptocurrency community are supporting Ulbricht and Free Ross organization.

Various aspects of the case including investigations, arrest, server shutdown and even double life sentencing leave a lot of questions to be asked.

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An Art Campaign for the Silk Road Founder

Three years ago, in October 2013, Ross Ulbricht was working at a public library in San Francisco when he was surrounded and arrested by federal agents of a special crime division.

He was detained for a short time before being sent to New York to face trial for starting, administering, and running the Silk Road darknet marketplace.

He was later found guilty of perpetrating and promoting the sale of drugs on the marketplace and sentenced to a life imprisonment with little to no chances of parole.

This marked the beginning of a spirited campaign by his supporters which seeks to free him or at least lessen the punitive life sentence.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

Supporters are making and sharing their art for the Silk Road founder, Ross Ulbricht, in "Art 4 Ross" campaign.
Supporters are making and sharing their art for the Silk Road founder, Ross Ulbricht, in “Art 4 Ross” campaign.

However, a few weeks after Ross was convicted for his role in the administration and operation of the Silk Road, some increasingly worrisome details regarding the case were leaked.

This includes allegations of corruption among the lead investigators from the Drug Enforcement Agency who were tasked with the responsibility of finding compelling evidence against Ross Ulbricht.

The arrest and conviction of the Silk Road founder saw his mother Lyn Ulbricht turn into a passionate activist and thousands of supporters – mostly libertarians – joined her cause.

Nonetheless, it is one of the most recent campaigns from the “Free Ross” team that has gathered an online storm lately.

The campaign, which is dubbed as “Art 4 Ross” taps into one of Ulbricht’s unique interests especially in drawing, solving puzzles and arts.

Now, through the hashtag #Art4Ross on Twitter, Ross’ supporters have shared their art in solidarity with the movement.

The art titled “The Trial I Saw” is a microcosm of the conviction from his perspective which apparently only took three weeks to be concluded.
The art titled “The Trial I Saw” is a microcosm of the conviction from his perspective which apparently only took three weeks to be concluded.

While in prison, the Silk Road founder has made an artwork that has been turned into a fun game.

Content wise, it makes use of an array of photos and drawings that seek to highlight the plight of Ross predicaments.

The art titled “The Trial I Saw” is a microcosm of the conviction from his perspective which apparently only took three weeks to be concluded.

Supporters of the Silk Road drug online bazaar creator can make their donations by simply playing the “Free Ross” game for a $1 per click to reveal a grid of each pixelated square.

One can either choose to reveal a single square at a go or make bulk selections of 10, 25 or 50 squares at a time.

Recently, the Art 4 Ross campaign picked up steam as the news surfaced that Dread Pirate Robert’s Silk Road forum account was still active even after Ross’ arrest.

Lyn Ulbricht has since made an official statement in the light of these new findings terming it as “one of the clearest signs of evidence tampering and corruption” in Ross’ case.

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The Silk Road Creator In His Prison Journey

Ulbricht, shares his prison experience through letter and poem.
Ulbricht, shares his prison experience through letter and poem.

Ross Ulbricht recently sent a letter and a poem that gave his supporters and family an in-depth revelation of his true character and personality.

The Silk Road founder, in the poem written by William Henley, described that the phase he was going through in his life was as dark as night. Ross uses the poem and letter to reveal the gratitude he felt towards a sovereign being for the strength in his soul.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

Ross, through the poem and letter, illustrates that he just happened to be a victim of circumstance but still chose to remain strong.

Ross still chooses to remain unwavering by the waves of injustice. The poem states “my head is bloody but unbowed.” The Silk Road founder chooses to have hope and belief in his inner strength.

The poem describes the future as unpredictable, but he still refuses to feel afraid of what the future held for him.

He's grateful and steadfast in his belief, despite everything his soul shall overcome.
He’s grateful and steadfast in his belief, despite everything his soul shall overcome.

Despite all the Silk Road founder was going through, he describes himself through the poem to still be in control of his destiny and life, even behind bars.

Ross Ulbricht, the Silk Road creator, in his letter, stated that the poem literally described his life in prison and helped him grow more steadfast in his fight for justice.

Ross narrates in his letter that since he got to prison, the perspective of his life became a little bit thinner than before.

He says that his contact with the outside world was limited to an hour visit each week, 300 minutes phone call, letters and whatever was in the media.

Ross Ulbricht comments on the diet that it was not what he would have preferred but still was grateful for life.

Ross Ulbricht also described in his letter that he went into isolation for the first 6 weeks as he tried to adjust to his new life. Ross says that the difference between the life he was used to outside and the locked up kind of life was too vivid.

He began to swallow in his reality when he was set free from the solitary to the general population. The Silk Road creator states that it was when the war within him truly began.

Ross Ulbricht, the Silk Road founder, describes in his letter that the life in prison was boring. He says there were only but a few things that could distract him from the harsh reality.

Ross states that he worked on his defense; he played games of ping pong and read quite a lot.

Ross in his letter even said that he started practicing yoga, and consequently, the distractions became less effective giving room to panic.

Ross says that in prison, many before him had been in the same state, causing them to venture into distractions like gambling, while a fraction became slaves of their misery.

However, the Silk Road founder talks in his letter of a few inmates who made a positive and profound impact in his life behind bars.

Ross tells of his new acquaintance, who had already served twelve years of his time in maximum security facility.

Ross noticed that the guy was never in a rush and that whenever they interacted, they had quite long chats that were never boring.

The Silk Road founder acknowledges the fact that his new prisoner friend taught him how to accept and face the situation he was currently facing.

He even gave Ross a few tips on how to conquer his fears, which Ross Ulbricht says marked a turning point in his life behind bars. It set him on a journey of acceptance and inevitable growth.

Ross Ulbricht, in the letter, wrote that he now realized that even being contained behind bars, the authorities had no say over his soul.

The only souvenir he had of the outside world, were memories that he could refer to quench his nostalgic bouts.

In conclusion, in the letter Ross Ulbricht sent, he even mentioned that he was still grateful for the life he was living and he loved it.

Ross says that the other inmates thought he was crazy when he talked passionately about that life, but Ross Ulbricht reminds them that it was the only way he could get through it, by accepting his reality even if he never got the chance to walk free again.

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A Re-Cap of the Free Ross-A-Thon Event

Free Ross-A-Thon was an event held and organized by a group of liberty activists that included the Bitcoin community, Ross Ulbricht’s family and supporters. Ulbricht, the creator of Silk Road, an online marketplace that was used to peddle illicit drugs, was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

A recap of what happen in the Free Ross-A-Thon event held on Dec. 4, 2016.
A recap of what happen in the Free Ross-A-Thon event held on Dec. 4, 2016.

Following a recently discovered piece of evidence by Ross Ulbricht’s defense team, they discovered that someone logged into the “Dread Pirates Roberts” Silk Road forum account weeks after the arrest of Ross Ulbricht.

This formed a ground for appeal against the Silk Road creator’s life sentence.

The Free Ross-A-Thon was held on Sunday, the 4th of December, 2016. The aim was to preach and advocate for freedom and justice.

It was also held with an aim to raise money to cater for Ross Ulbricht’s appeal court bills.

The cost for printing and binding of appeal documents is $14,000, a quite huge amount for Ross’ family to raise alone.

That is why Ross Ulbricht’s mother, Lyn Ulbricht, together with liberty activist, Tatiana Moroz, organized the Free Ross-A-Thon event for the Silk Road founder.

Also invited to speak at the event were keynote speakers, Jeffrey Tucker and Roger Ver.

The Free Ross-A-Thon event that took almost 8 hours was filmed at the LaffCast Studio. A lot of issues were discussed during the event to free the Silk Road founder.

The speakers discussed the possible consequences of the Ulbricht’s case and the lasting impression it would have in the history of precedents.

Further, the negative impacts it would have on the general privacy rights and the rights to a fair due process of the common American citizen, not just Ross Ulbricht.

During the event, a platform was given for each of the speakers to have an in-depth analysis of the case facing the Silk Road creator, Ross Ulbricht. The public was also informed of other related legal and social issues that arose.

The Free Ross-A-Thon was interesting and very captivating. The online speakers at the event covered a wide agenda that included liberty, privacy, legal issues and the current criminal justice system.

Furthermore, during an interview, Tatiana Moroz, the songwriter and liberty activist who helped host the event, said that the most meaningful part of the event was the letter that Ross wrote to his supporters and all the persons who graced the event, not forgetting those who gave their contribution.

Tatiana stated that Ross in his letter was very grateful to his friends, family, and supporters. Ross Ulbricht said in his letter that they gave him hope and the strength to believe that a day is coming that he will walk a free man again.

Tatiana at the interview commented that the Free Ross-A-Thon event drew the attention of other liberty activists and people who believed in the ideology of justice and freedom.

Tatiana Moroz continued to urge the public through the interview, to keep themselves abreast with the facts of Ross Ulbricht’s case.

This was because the decision made at the appeal will set a precedent that will most definitely impact the criminal justice system hence have an effect on the society as well in years to come.

Lyn Ulbricht, mother of Ross Ulbricht, alleged Silk Road Creator.
Lyn Ulbricht, mother of Ross Ulbricht, alleged Silk Road Creator.

Lyn Ulbricht was also interviewed, and the mother’s love for her son was evident in the way she seemed hopeful even as the light of the case seemed dim.

She said that the generous financial donations from people all over the world meant a lot and that it encouraged Ross Ulbricht and his family to forge ahead and fight for freedom.

Lyn Ulbricht also said they already raised $23,500 from people around the world. It would be helpful in clearing the bill for appeal case and pay for other Ross Ulbricht’s legal expenses.

Further, she said that towards the end of the Free Ross-A-Thon event, Roger Ver announced that he would match the donations for Ross Ulbricht.

That, to Lyn Ulbricht, was a very touching and brave gesture that demonstrated how committed he was to liberty.

In a nutshell, the Free Ross-A-Thon was more than successful. People sent donations in all forms of currency towards the appeal case of Ross Ulbricht, the Silk Road founder.

It was during the event also, that Ulbricht, through his letter, together with his mother, Lyn Ulbricht and his family got a chance to thank the supporters for believing not only in him but also showing the dedication towards justice and liberty.

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Defense Suggests There’s Another Corrupt Agent In The Silk Road Case

There has been new evidence unearthed with regard to the Silk Road case. The online black market was actually the first darknet market in these modern times. The platform was utilized by hundreds of drug dealers and clients of these illicit narcotics.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

Ross Ulbricht's Lawyers Say They've Found Another Corrupt Agent in Silk Road Case
Ross Ulbricht’s Lawyers Say They’ve Found Another Corrupt Agent in Silk Road Case

However, in October 2013, the Federal Bureau of Investigations arrested the man behind the site operation, one Ross William Ulbricht, known under the pseudonym “Dread Pirate Roberts.”

During his trial, Ross admitted to having founded the Silk Road marketplace, which the FBI shut down, but he claimed to have given control to other people shortly after he founded it.

Further, Ross’s lawyers argued that “Dead Pirate Roberts” wasn’t the accused, but Mark Karpelès. They contended that Ross was just a fall guy.

In February 2015, the jury convicted Ross Ulbricht of seven charges. They included money laundering, narcotics trafficking, and computer hacking.

The Silk Road creator was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole on May 2015.

Two other rogue agents of law enforcement were also arrested, former DEA agent Carl Mark Force and Secret Service agent Shawn Bridges.

The two worked as undercover agents in the Baltimore Silk Road investigation.

The agents were accused to have accepted funds from Ross in exchange of information on the investigation.

Third Corrupt Agent in the Silk Road Case

Ulbricht’s defense team unearthed new evidence and found sign of a third corrupt agent in the Silk Road case.
Ulbricht’s defense team unearthed new evidence and found signs of a third corrupt agent in the Silk Road case.

Recently, Ulbricht’s lawyers revealed that they had unearthed new evidence. They said, they found signs of a third corrupt agent involved to the drug money in Silk Road and that this suspect is still at large.

The defense lawyers said that they got hold of the site’s user forum of a private chat logs that shed light on a mysterious figure referred by the pseudonym “albertpacino,” “alpacino,” or “notwonderful.”

In the conversations with Dread Pirate Roberts, the pseudonym that Ross used on the site, Alpacino offered to give information about the law enforcement investigations on the Silk Road in exchange for weekly payments.

The reason why these chat logs did not appear in the earlier pieces of evidence shared with the defense and prosecution was because, according to the lawyers, someone in law enforcement tampered with the evidence to cover up the conversations.

The chats were found in a backed up obscure directory on the site’s server, which probably the person who tried to delete them, never knew existed.

This new turn of events, according to the defense, calls into question the credibility of the Silk Road investigation by the prosecution.

Until now, Alpacino was believed to have been a pseudonym that the already convicted agent Carl Mark Force used.

The reason why the defense contends that Alpacino was not actually agent Carl was the fact that in the conversations, Alpacino demanded for $500 a week, which was quite small amount compared to the $50,000 that agent Force was allegedly paid by Ross.

Ulbricht’s lawyers have requested the government for any other additional information that they might have on this Alpacino user.

The entire Silk Road investigation is put into question once again. There is only so much evidence that might be willingly ignored before justice can prevail.

These private chat logs that recently discovered are a possible indication that the law enforcement agencies have a mole, although no one really can pinpoint as to who it is.

Furthermore, if it is possible that the evidence has been tampered with, Ross’s defense lawyers question as to what else has been falsified or forged in the whole Silk Road investigation.

The defense lawyers, even with this new piece of evidence, likely to be presented in the appeal trial in New York, raise doubts in the eyes of the public as to whether it will alter Ross’s fate.

It is questionable as to whether proving the existence of yet another corrupt agent would actually improve the chances of Ross Ulbricht not getting a life sentence.

The defense continues to attempt to overturn the conviction of Ross with this new piece of evidence than previously believed might help his case.

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Silk Road Founder Sends His Thanks To All His Supporters

The Silkroad founder, Ross Ulbricht, purportedly sent his gratitude to all his supporters on Thanksgiving.

Ulbricht admitted that the darknet market Silkroad began only as an experiment that he thought was idealistic.

Silkroad was meant to allow people to buy or sell whatever they wanted without interference from the government and exploitation that polluted the corporate world.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

Ross conveys his message of gratitude to all his family, friends and supporters.
Ross conveys his message of gratitude to all his family, friends and supporters.

Ross thought of himself as a libertarian, believed in personal freedom to do as each one pleased with minimal interference from others.

Therefore, his supporters saw him as a hero who attempted to tame a truly rough and unruly trade.

The Silkroad founder Ross Ulbricht admitted in the courtroom of the “little things” he missed from behind bars, like throwing a Frisbee to a dog in the park and Thanksgiving dinner with his family.

During an interview, the Silkroad creator stated that despite his present circumstances, he was thankful to his family, friends, and supporters.

Those who chose to believe in him. He said that they were a source of encouragement to him and words simply cannot describe that feeling of in-depth gratitude that he felt.

In 2013, Ross Ulbricht, the founder of Silkroad, noted that the other thing that he was truly grateful for was that finally after one and a half months in the Special Housing Unit, (SHU), he was now in the general inmate population with other inmates.

The SHU was specially designed to isolate and punish the most chronic and dangerous of prisoners. It was a grim jail with maximum security.

The Silkroad founder was released from the SHU a day to his bail hearing.

Actually, his lawyer argued that Ross was non-violent and his confinement in the maximum security facility was not a necessity.

He is positive despite being curtailed his freedom.
He is positive despite being curtailed his freedom.

Now Ross was grateful that he could breathe fresh air, look out of a window, interact with people and even play a game of chess.

Isolated as he was from the outside, the numerous letters and messages the Silkroad creator got from his supporters gave him hope.

Those who advocated for his release and stood up for freedom were his source of encouragement. The Silkroad founder actually said that prison wasn’t as bad as he had fathomed.

One inmate actually gave him a piece of soap, another lent him a book to read and ward off the boredom and nostalgic feeling.

The Silkroad creator said that the inmates were given a treat of chicken and cranberry source on Thanksgiving, just to make the day festive for them, too.

The Silkroad founder Ulbricht shared that, just like life on the outside, there were acts of kindness and compassion in the prison, amidst the periodical harshness and power trips.

Ulbricht said he was grateful and that he would not blame anyone for his choices in life. The founder of the Silkroad was also grateful that now he could talk to his visitors over a table and not through a plexiglass like before.

Life had taught him to be grateful for the little things he once took for granted when he was a freeman. He said the things we take for granted matter a great deal in prison.

The Silkroad creator sends his “thank you” message to his family, friends, and supporters who have given and dedicated their time, resources, and love which meant the world to him, even from behind bars.

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Free Ross-A-Thon Dedicated To Raise Awareness Of The Silk Road Case

The controversial arrest and sentencing of the Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht remain a thorn in many people’s sides, including his mother, Lyn Ulbricht.

Ross was sentenced to life in prison without parole last May 2015 for non-violent charges and has been fighting for his freedom ever since.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

His latest breakthrough came in the form of an appeal to an appellate bench of judges in Manhattan earlier, and now a number of high profile individuals in technology and human rights are getting behind his efforts to overcome the unfair judgment.

Event Aims to Raise Awareness and Funds

Free Ross-A-Thon Event Aims to Promote Freedom
Free Ross-A-Thon Event Aims to Promote Freedom

The Free Ross-A-Thon event will be held on December 4 and will focus on raising funds and awareness concerning the Silk Road case in efforts to get the world to see what liberty author Doug Casey has called “a gigantic injustice.”

The Free Ross-A-Thon event will be hosted by Ulbricht’s mother, Lyn Ulbricht, alongside Terry Brock and Tatiana Moroz.

It will also feature some prominent appearances from high-profile individuals including Deep Web director Alex Winter, radio show host Tom Woods, the director of Antiwar.com, Angela Keaton and freedom activist Adam Kokesh.

The event seeks to raise funds to cover the cost of printing and binding Ross’s appeal documents which, shockingly, will cost roughly $14,000.

Unfair Ruling of The Silk Road Case Still Protested

The Silk Road case was one disfigured with controversy and quite a few sideshows.

One of the prominent occurrences of the case was the arrest of two FBI agents involved in the investigations after they were caught stealing Bitcoins.

Many are of the opinion that Ulbricht’s trial was unfairly decided when the prosecutors decided to bring in the mother of a drug user who had died from an overdose of drugs he obtained from the Silk Road.

The said case also brought to light the unconventional information gathering techniques employed by the FBI to unlawfully obtain people’s private data.

The final nail in the coffin was the protested life without patrol sentence that was ultimately handed to Ross Ulbricht.

Doug Casey was quite vocal on the matter of the heavy sentence handed to Ulbricht, whose crimes barely deserved a sentencing that the liberty author compared to “a political sentence worse than any sentence the Soviet Union has ever dealt out.”

Speakers to Highlight the Government’s Shortcomings in the Drug War

Freedom activists have discussed the importance of the Ross Ulbricht case
Freedom activists have discussed the importance of the Ross Ulbricht case

Speakers at the Free Ross-A-Thon will focus on the insufficiencies of the government, especially when it comes to the ongoing war against drugs.

There will also be mention of how the outcome of the Silk Road case ultimately plays out for the rest of us internet users and what it could mean for individual freedom and privacy online.

The Free Ross-A-Thon star-studded charity event will see some of the most impactful internet personalities give their two cents on a matter that has remained a controversial issue beyond internet forums and the realms of the deep web where the Silk Road existed.

Free Ross-A-Thon will also serve as an opportunity for many to pick the brains of these brilliant personalities on various matters relating to the contested Ross Ulbricht’s case.

Lyn Ulbricht insists that the fight for Ross’s freedom is more than just a family affair or a mother’s cry against an unjust ruling.

The injustices committed during Ross Ulbricht’s case affect more than just one family or the users of one website, she explained, and that the future implications of rulings such as those could affect everyone.

The Free Ross-A-Thon is an open event that everyone can register for and the Ulbricht family is encouraging people to turn out in support of Ross Ulbricht.

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ZCoin Donating to Charities Supporting the Silk Road Creator

ZCoin is a privacy-centric cryptocurrency that joins the growing list of cryptocurrency and uses cryptographic proofs of Zero-Knowledge on their network.

The Moneta rebrand was coined (pun unintended) by Poramin Insom and Gary Le last September 28, 2016.

As such, it is still fairly beginning to exist.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

Zerocoin Protocol is different from all previous approaches, offering a level of privacy not found in any other cryptocurrency.
Zerocoin Protocol is different from all previous approaches, offering a level of privacy not found in any other cryptocurrency.

It is important to note that ZCoin is not affiliated in any way with Zcash, which also adopts the Zero-Knowledge technology on its network.

Other notable users of the Zero-Knowledge technology include the Komodo Project.

ZCoin Pledges $25,000 To the Silkroad Founder’s Cause

Le and Insom are known avid supporters of what the Silkroad founder, Ross Ulbricht, represented.

They firmly believe in liberty and free market enterprise and hold on to their strong opinions concerning the unfair trial of the Silkroad founder.

According to the ZCoin founders, Ulbricht’s Silkroad was a herald to the era of free commerce and promoted individual liberty.

Therefore,it comes as no surprise that ZCoin has officially pledged to commit to donate 100 ZCoins every month for the next four years to support the Silkroad founder’s cause and also to finance his latest appeal.

They made the statement on their blog and mentioned that the donations to the various charities supporting Ulbricht’s cause would facilitate the Silkroad creator’s quest for freedom via an appeal.

They also went ahead to do a quick calculation of the accumulative amount of ZCoins, their donations would garner over the course of four years based on its current exchange rate ($25,000).

The Silkroad creator has appealed his case to a bench of three appellate judges in Manhattan earlier this year.

The donations received by the Ross Ulbricht charities look to cover any legal expenses including the cost of funding his lawyers as they embark on the appeal.

“The war on drugs is a complete failure” – ZCoin Founders

Gary Le, ZCoin Developer
Gary Le, ZCoin Developer

Le and Insom feel strongly about the war in history, especially as the government paints it, and were not afraid to term it “a complete failure” on the government’s part.

In their opinion, the government has turned the war on drugs into a business venture, funded mostly by the asset seizure policy that allows drugs, money and other assets obtained in a raid to be stolen by government “bandits.”

They believe that Ulbricht’s Silkroad was the first to try and curb the government’s exploits using technology to beat the system and keep Ulbricht and various Silkroad traders away from the government’s sights.

The ZCoin founders believe that if it were not the government’s self-serving motives, Ulbricht would not only have been exempted from such a strict sentencing, he would also not have been sent to prison at all.

Silkroad created a peaceful environment where consenting individuals of age could conduct various trades, according to the two ZCoin founders.

Life imprisonment without parole for the Silkroad founder was unwarranted and a punishment that was generally deemed excessive, especially considering the fact that drug offenders rarely get slapped with sentences that harsh.

ZCoin’s Quest for an Ideal World in the Wake of Silkroad

The ZCoin founders believe that their creation continues what Silkroad had started before being abruptly dismantled by the government three years ago.

They believe that by combining the innovativeness of the Bitcoin protocol with the privacy-centric Zero-Knowledge technology, they will eventually achieve total non-interference from governments and other authorities that impact on individuals’ competitive processes.

The ultimate goal, according to the blog post on their website, is to create individual liberty, a free market and, most importantly, bring peace to the world.

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