Ross Ulbricht’s Digital Journal Reveals Silk Road’s secrets

ANNOUNCEMENT: Well it has happened! Another Silk Road Darknet Market has spawned after the demise of Silk Road 2.0. The new site is called Silk Road Reloaded and is utilizing different technology than its predecessors therefore a new guide for Silkroad Reloaded will be coming soon. In the meantime Agora Marketplace is still alive and kicking bigger than ever with more listings than Silkroad 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace. <<

Ross UlbrichtApparently, Ross Ulbricht, the alleged mastermind in the development and running of the seized black market site, Silk Road, chronicled details and thoughts about the infamous site in a digital journal found by authorities on his personal laptop. Among his thoughts about the now defunct black marketplace is the fact that it would become a “phenomenon”.

The laptop, labeled Government’s Exhibit 200, is a Samsung 700z laptop seized by authorities in October 2013. The laptop was taken from Ross Ulbricht while he was in a public library in Glen Park, San Francisco. Two agents started an argument to distract Ulbricht while a third took the opportunity to snatch the laptop from him. The laptop was then analyzed immediately and an image of its hard drive created for more detailed evaluation.

Jurors were showed journal entries from 2010 and 2011 found on Ulbricht’s laptop. The confessions on the journals are quite incriminating,and clearly support some of the claims made by the prosecutors that Ross Ulbricht, for instance, was the mastermind behind the creation of Silk Road. In the journal entry created in 2010, Ulbricht simultaneously predicts the forthcoming unprecedented growth of Silkroad while also admitting to being the site’s creator.

Joshua DratelHowever, Ulbricht, through his lawyer, Joshua Dratel, denies charges of conspiracy to traffic in narcotics, despite admitting to being the creator of Silkroad. The journal undeniably demonstrates that Ulbricht was behind the site’s creation. For instance, an entry says that the site’s original name would have been “Underground Brokers”. The journal entries also reveal that Ulbricht viewed the US government as his “main enemy”. Another describes the trouble he found having to talk about the site to a girl he met without revealing the “bad part”.

Silk Road generated about $200 million in sales from drugs trading before it was shut down by law enforcement authorities. The prosecutors are keen to prove that Ulbricht had a pivotal role in the site’s thriving narcotics trade.

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DHS Special Agent Went Undercover To Infiltrate The Silk Road

ANNOUNCEMENT: Well it has happened! Another Silk Road Darknet Market has spawned after the demise of Silk Road 2.0. The new site is called Silk Road Reloaded and is utilizing different technology than its predecessors therefore a new guide for Silk Road Reloaded will be coming soon. In the meantime Agora Marketplace is still alive and kicking bigger than ever with more listings than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace. <<

Jared Der-Yeghiayan first met with alleged Silk Road creator, Ross Ulbricht, at 3:16 pm on October 1, 2013. This was moments after Ross was arrested for his involvement in the notorious online drugs marketplace. But according to prosecutors, October 1 was not the first time they met; they were communicating long before that.

Homeland Security InvestigationsHomeland Security Investigations (HSI) begun investigating the illegal marketplace in 2012, and by July 2013, Jared Der-Yeghiayan took over as “Cirrus”, Silk Road moderator. Jared, a special agent with HSI based out of Chicago, on 14th of January, 2015, testified concerning his role in a sting that led to Ross Ulbricht’s arrest. The investigation department was then investigating Ross as a possible match for the chief operator of Silk Road, the Dread Pirate Roberts, which was based on information received from Gary Alford, who is working as a special agent with the IRS.

According to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Gary’s information has triggered yet another investigation that involved Thomas Kiernan, a computer scientist working with FBI (expected to testify soon), as well as Christopher Tarbell, known for his role in hacker Sabu’s arrest. HSI and FBI merger was crafted with main intent of operating a sting to capture Dread Pirate Roberts including “Smoking Gun”, which was an open laptop that logged into the admin page of Silk Road.

Mark KarpelesDer-Yeghiayan used codename “Cirrus” for almost 2 months and managed to access the encrypted Silk Road staff chat room, which was hosted by a Tor hidden service. This chat room gave Der-Yeghiayan the leeway to see when Dead Pirate Roberts was available online. It is from here that FBI secured a warrant to arrest Ulbricht in September 2013.

On September 30, Der-Yeghiayan arrived in San Francisco and on October 1, at around 12.00 pm, a team of around six law enforcement agents including Der-Yeghiayan, Kiernan, and Tarbell met at Café Bello. This café was just a few blocks from Ulbricht’s house and Jared had his laptop powered on, and connected to a mobile hotspot, so that he could monitor if DPR was available in that encrypted chat room.

Fortunately, Dread Pirate Roberts was logged in and Ross was at home. It took the team a few hours to disperse and position themselves across few blocks that included Ulbricht’s house, Café Bello, and San Francisco Public Library’s, Glen Park branch. Jared’s laptop was open and running the entire period since it was used to monitor Dread Pirate Roberts at the time, which was critical for the success of the sting. At about 2:45 pm, Dread Pirate Roberts logged out, showing that he was about to switch location. As Ulbricht crossed the street and went in Café Bello, he saw that it was crowded and walked out heading towards the library next door.

Kiernan followed Ulbricht inside while Jared remained outside with his laptop. Tarbell then rejoined Jared and directed the rest of the team to stay put as Jared, alias “Cirrus”, chatted with Dead Pirate Roberts asking him to check a customer support issue that required him to log on to the admin panel. Once he was in, Tarbell gave a green light to the agents who subdued Ross Ulbricht in a matter of seconds and seized his laptop. After his arrest, alleged Dread Pirate Roberts met Cirrus face-to-face on his way down stairs, and this took place at 3:16 pm.

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Silk Road Judge’s Finding Narrows the Case Against Indicted Site’s Mastermind

If you want to visit Silk Road 2.0 then you will want to know that it was shut down by the feds on 5th November 2014 and the alleged operator “Defcon” has been arrested. The best alternative is Agora Marketplace, it actually has more listings than Silkroad 2.0. Silk Road 3.0 is ALREADY live and there will be more info about it here soon.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace. <<

Ross Ulbricht and DrugsThe trial of the founder of Silkroad is scheduled to begin next month and federal prosecutors are likely to use narcotics sales carried out by the website as evidence against Ross Ulbricht. They may also present his fake IDs and emails related to murder-for-hire allegations. However, they cannot present each one of the illegal activities allegedly carried out by him on the website, according to the ruling given by a federal judge at a hearing this Wednesday. In fact, the findings of Katherine Forrest, a U.S. District Judge, narrow down the government’s case against the alleged Silkroad founder.

BitcoinAccording to the indictment, the website Silkroad allegedly involved in anonymous, difficult-to-trace Bitcoin transactions and facilitated sales of hundreds of kilograms of not only illegal drugs, but also other illicit goods as well as services to more than hundred thousand buyers around the world. Additionally, prosecutors are of the belief that Dread Pirate Roberts is the pseudonym of the website’s owner.

In the final Silkroad pre-trail conference, Forrest said that the prosecutors are conspiring to provide too much evidence against Ulbricht. She added that the prosecutors’ theory is troubling and extraordinarily broad as the indictment presents a large number of wares under the same allegation.

Joshua Dratel, the lawyer representing the alleged Silkroad founder, had raised an objection to this aspect of the case as well and argued that this proved that Silkroad followed a hands-off approach when it came to what the website users sold. He compared the prosecution of the Silkroad to charging AT&T, or even landlords, for liaising with drug dealers using either their phones or living in the buildings owned by them.

Though Dratel has been successful in narrowing the scope of case against Ulbricht, he has been unsuccessful in barring some of the evidences against him that are more sensational. Forrest ruled that the fake IDs allegedly bought by Ulbricht on Silkroad make fair ground for trial and that evidence could be made use of to prove both his trial of a sampling of the goods and consciousness of guilt. However, the judge forbade both sides from making comments on the libertarian politics supposedly propounded by Ulbricht.

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Silk Road Judge Has Allowed Prosecutors Not To Disclose Their Witnesses

If you want to visit Silk Road 2.0 then you will want to know that it was shut down by the feds on 5th November 2014 and the alleged operator “Defcon” has been arrested. The best alternative is Agora Marketplace, it actually has more listings than Silk Road 2.0. Silk Road 3.0 is ALREADY live and there will be more info about it here soon.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace. <<

Ross Ulbricht on CourtThe trial of alleged Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht is scheduled to begin on Monday, January 5, 2015, but the judge presiding over the Silk Road case, New York district court judge Katherine Forrest has decided to allow the prosecutors not to disclose the identities of their witnesses until January 2, 2015, the Friday before the scheduled start of the trial.

 

Judge Katherine ForrestAccording to the explanation provided by Judge Forrest, her reason for not allowing the disclosure of the witnesses is due to the fact that Mr. Ulbricht could arrange to have them harmed or murdered before the trial, if their identities are revealed. The move was a response to a request filed by the prosecution to have the names of the witnesses redacted; they cited FBI reports that Mr. Ulbricht had paid to have six people murdered. One of the people Mr. Ulbricht allegedly paid to have murdered was a former Silk Road employee, and he allegedly contracted an undercover DEA agent to do the job, paying him $80,000.

 

Mr. Ulbricht’s defense attorneys argued against the request to withhold the names of the witnesses, because it would make it more difficult for them to prepare for the case, and also because he has been in jail with limited contact with the outside world since he was arrested, and he also doesn’t have access to email, so it would be nearly impossible to do anything to the witnesses because of those reasons.

 

In response to the defense’s objections, Judge Forrest wrote that despite being imprisoned with limited access to the outside world, Mr. Ulbricht could still find a way to get in touch with contacts on the outside, that could harm the witnesses, because there have been many cases in the past, with defendants in similar situation that have been able to find ways to intimidate or harm people that were going to testify against them.

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The US Marshal’s Service Will Be holding An Auction For 50,000 Bitcoins Seized From Silk Road

If you want to visit Silk Road 2.0 then you will want to know that it was shut down by the feds on 5th November 2014 and the alleged operator “Defcon” has been arrested. The best alternative is Agora Marketplace, it actually has more listings than Silk Road 2.0. Silk Road 3.0 is ALREADY live and there will be more info about it here soon.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace. <<

Bitcoin MoneyIt is in the news that the US Marshal will be auctioning 50,000 bitcoins seized from Ross Ulbricht, alleged Silk Road mastermind. The total value of the bitcoins is approximated to be about $20 million. The bitcoins were seized from Ross Ulbricht last year.

The auction is the second to be held by the agency in a span of less than five months. The auction is planned to be held on December 4. The first auction which the agency had carried out before resulted in the sale of a total of 29,656 Bitcoins. All these bitcoins were seized from Silk Road.

In the last sale of the Bitcoins which were seized from Silk Road, investor Tim Draper was identified as the highest bidder.

US marshall ServiceThe bitcoins that were last auctioned was seized from the digital wallets belonging to Ross Ulbrichtin October 2013. In the same time, Ross Ulbricht was arrested in connection to the Silk Road saga. During his arrest by the FBI, he agreed that the US government could sell the Silk Road bitcoins.

The sale of the bitcoins will be split into 2 rounds; there will be an offer of 10 blocks of 2,000 Bitcoins in the first round followed by another 10 blocks of 3,000 in the second round. Interested bidders who will have registered by making deposits of $100,000 will be allowed to have a six hour window on 4th of December to submit sealed bids for the bitcoins.

Just like the first case, all interested bidders will be allowed to disclose their identity and state clearly their connection to the alleged mastermind or Silk Road in general. The registration for the bids has started and will end in December 1st.

During the first auction that was held in June, the agency had promised to keep secret the name of bidders and winners but mistakenly revealed the names. This was due to a confusion that came up when the agency sent the list of the bidders to the interested parties instead of an email which was to inform the bidders about the progress of their bidding.

Although in the conflicting list that the agency sent only contained emails, it was possible to know the names of the bidders because the emails had names of the bidders. A good number of highly reputed people in the Bitcoin community were listed in the bitcoin bidding list.

Silk Road is an online drug marketplace where many people were using it to buy drugs of different types. From Silk Road, people were able to buy different types of drugs while hiding their identity. The alleged mastermind, Ross Ulbricht, is charged with sell of narcotics and computer hacking. The buys were usually made with the use of the digital currency bitcoin. During the time of the arrest of Ulbricht, there were more than $1 billion sales. Ross Ulbricht will be tried in court beginning January 5th and in case he is found guilty he can face up to 30 years in prison or even life prison.

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Silk Road Trial Postponed Until January 2015

>> Click here to find the Silk Road URL and know how to get to the Silk Road 2.0 <<

The trial of alleged Silk Road creator, Ross Ulbricht, has been postponed until January 2015. The Silkroad case was initially set to start on 10th November, less than a month away, but the defense counsel requested a postponement of the case. The request was granted by US District Judge Katherine Forrest.

Silkroad in JailSeveral charges have been leveled against Ulbricht in connection with the infamous Silkroad marketplace. These charges are drug trafficking, hacking, criminal enterprise, money laundering, and other drug and conspiracy charges. In all the charges, Ulbricht, considered the Silkroad mastermind, has entered a plea of not guilty.

Ross UlbrichtWhile the prosecution team insists that Ulbricht was the driving force behind Silkroad’s illicit activities, friends, family, and other supporters claim that he has been unjustifiably targeted by the legal system.

According to Ulbricht’s lawyer, Joshua Dratel, the extension of the date for the start of the trial to January next year will help in resolution of many scheduling conflicts. With the trial running into the Christmas holidays, it was felt that the November 10th start date would affect the availability of jurors as well as the continuity of the trial. Dratel later revealed that although the defense placed the request for the postponement, the court did not provide any reasons for granting the request.

The delay of the case until January will also help Ulbricht’s defense get the required evidence to build a case against the accusations made against him with regard to Silkroad. This is especially important since the process of getting evidence on Silkroad is hindered by Ulbricht’s pretrial confinement.

This move by the court is quite a surprise, given the courts adamancy to grant earlier requests by the defense, most notably, the attempt to have the case dismissed in July. Furthermore, barely a week ago, the defense lost in its attempt to discredit evidence obtained on Silkroad from servers based in Iceland.

The FBI, the Ulbricht’s defense argued, had violated the Fourth Amendment through the illegal seizure of the Silkroad servers. The motion for dismissal was rejected by the court on the basis that Ulbricht claimed no ownership of the Silkroad servers seized, and therefore, the argument that they were private property was irrelevant.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road URL and know how to get to the Silk Road 2.0 <<

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Silk Road’s “Forgotten Three”

>> Click here to find the Silk Road URL and know how to get to the Silk Road 2.0 <<

Ross UlbrichtFor most part of the case, fund raising efforts and headlines have concentrated on Ross Ulbricht. He’s considered the mastermind of the entire project, Dread Pirate Roberts. However, three other men have also been accused of illegal activities and conduct. Though they have been spending time outside the limelight, their role in the scenario can’t be overlooked.

In December 2013, three other arrests were made in three countries under the same law. Andrew Jones was arrested in the United States. He was accused of being the administrator, Inigo. Gary Davis was arrested in Ireland. He was accused of being administrator, Libertas. Peter Nash was arrested in Australia. He was accused of being moderator, SSBD.

Judge MalletOut of these 3 co-accused, only one has been in prison for the whole time. One has been placed under house arrest, and the other one is virtually a free man. However, their fates are still connected with the verdict against Ross Ulbricht in the Silk Road case.

 

Peter Nash

According to the indictment, SSBD was the lowest ranked in Silk Road. He only had a small role in moderating discussion forums. Upon his arrest, the United States requested Nash’s extradition.

Eventually, Peter Nash was remanded in a prison in Brisbane. Before his arrest, a local newspaper revealed that Nash had worked in a Prison before. Thus, he was placed in protective custody. According to reports, Nash was injured during a prison protest.

In June 2014, Peter Nash was extradited to the United States of America. Currently, he is remanded in a federal penitentiary located in New York. This means, he has already served 9 months awaiting his trial.

Andrew Jones

Jones has been accused of being Inigo at Silk Road. According to reports, Inigo was the longest serving administrator in Silk Road. Jones was released after submitting bail for $1 million. The money was raised by Jones’ retired parents through their retirement’s savings and home.

Currently, Jones has been placed under house arrest at his retired parents’ house. As per his bail terms and conditions, he can’t access any internet enabled devices while awaiting his trial. His next hearing has been scheduled for next month.

Andrew Jones’ fiancée and mother have even set up an online donation page to assist with various legal expenses. They welcome any legal and monetary assistance they can get in different forms.

Gary Davis

The United States also wanted to extradite Gary Davis. He was accused of being the administrator Libertas at Silk Road. However, the Irish authorities handled the matter quite differently from the ones in Australia.

On the night of his arrest, Gary Davis was released on a bail. The bail was granted for a nominal amount. Irish courts grant bail to someone slated for extradition quite similar to how they handle domestic cases, under certain conditions, i.e., if the accused won’t tamper with the witnesses, commit any further serious crimes or seems a flight risk.

It’s important to understand that Davis attends all the hearings as a free man. However, he has been relieved of his passport. Moreover, he also needs to report to the Irish Police regularly. Since his arrest, the Irish media hasn’t had much interest in the Silk Road case.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road URL and know how to get to the Silk Road 2.0 <<

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The Catch-22 Predicament Of The Alleged Silk Road Mastermind

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US District Judge Katherine Forrest has declined to suppress the evidence the government is using against Ross William Ulbricht, the alleged Silkroad mastermind. This paves way for a federal trial that is set for 3rd November, 2014 in connection to the Silkroad website that once sold hacking tools and illicit drugs.

Ross UlbrichtThe judge’s decision sidestepped the contentious issue of whether the federal prosecutors violated Ross Ulbricht’s constitutional rights of unlawful search and seizure. According to Ross Ulbricht’s defense team, the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) or even the NSA (National Security Agency) in some way managed to unlawfully gain access to the Silkroad severs in Iceland, this led to several search warrants of social networking and e-mail accounts the U.S government said belong to Ross Ulbricht.

The New York judge stated that it does not matter whether the U.S government unlawfully gained access to the Silkroad severs. This is because she ruled that Ross Ulbricht does not have a right to challenge the seizure of the Silkroad servers that eventually led to his arrest last year.

She ruled that whatever methods the government used to gain access to the evidence against Ross Ulbricht are beyond the purview of the court.

She said that as a result of Ross Ulbricht denying any connection to the Silkroad servers and having not demonstrated any association to them, he does not have a right to challenge the methods used by the government to seize the Silkroad servers. She added that Ulbricht would have been able to challenge the search if he had claimed to have a connection to the Silkroad servers. The government said that they did not need a warrant because the Silkroad servers were overseas.

CourtThe judge wrote that the requirement to establish a personal privacy interest may appear to place Ross Ulbricht in a catch-22: if the U.S government must substantiate any connection between him and Silkroad, asking him to admit such a connection to establish his standing, the seizures and searches in question could be deemed unfair. But as Ross Ulbricht surely knows, this isn’t the first court, nor is he the first defendant, to bring up such an issue.

She did, however, note that the sworn statement of a defendant in support of a motion to suppress PDF evidence generally cannot be used against him at trial. She said that this doesn’t insulate Ross Ulbricht from all risk. If he decided to take the witness stand to defend himself, his statement may nevertheless be used to impeach him.

Ross William Ulbricht is charged with 7 separate crimes that are related to the design, creation, administration, and operations of Silkroad. He is accused of facilitating anonymous transactions of hacking tools, narcotics and fake identification documents.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road URL and know how to get to the Silk Road 2.0 <<

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Fresh Set Of Charges Laid Against Ross Ulbricht

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Ross UlbrichtA verdict has been determined on Ross Ulbricht’s case. He will be facing life in prison as a result of his alleged operations on the internet drug lair called Silk Road, which is where both sellers and buyers were able to send soft and hard drugs across the globe. His initial indictment happened back in February of this year with four criminal charges including, criminal and money hacking conspiracy, drug trafficking, each of which he profusely continues to deny. On Friday the 22nd of August, he faced three new charges as the Silkroad Kingpin, including identity fraud and narcotics trafficking.

The US Government laid in a 17-page amended document introducing one count each for every narcotics distribution and trafficking through the virtual facet and his fraudulent act of providing false identification documents. His attorney Joshua Dratel, however, told CoinDesk how the new charges did not in any way modify the nature of evidence. According to the new seconding indictment, the drug charges happen to be in connection with at least a kilogram of heroin, 10 grams of LSD, 500 grams of meth and 5 kilograms of cocaine sold through Silk Road.

BitcoinSince his October 2013 arrest, the FBI has seized over $33.6 million worth of Bitcoins from Ulbricht. The FBI claimed this amount of Bitcoins to have been proceeds stemming from the Silk Road operation. Early this month, Ulbricht argued in a memo that he was originally plotting on a portal called Underground Brokers, where people could buy and sell almost about anything anonymously. He claimed that he did not purposely create Silk Road for drug trafficking.

The indicted also called out the intrusion of the US authorities in trampling every bit of his digital privacy rights. Furthermore, the initial report on his drug trafficking operations triggered an ongoing investigation to every depth of his ESI (electronically stored information). It gave the authorities enough discretion to follow through the investigation.

>> Click here to find the Silkroad URL and know how to get to the Silk Road 2.0 <<

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Ross Ulbricht’s Family Create Legal Defence Fund

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Ross UlbrichtFamily and friends of the alleged Silk Road developer Ross Ulbricht have set a fundraising campaign in motion to collect money for his legal defense. Ulbricht was arrested late 2013. The US government accused him of being an online entity known as Dread Pirate Roberts who is alleged to be behind the former online drug mega store Silk Road. He was charged in a New York court of a number of conspiracies including money laundering and illegal drug trafficking. Mr. Ulbricht also faces charges of conspiracy to allegedly commit murder in Maryland. Authorities there claim he colluded with an undercover operative to have Silkroad’s former executive murdered.

Ross UlbrichtMr. Ulbricht’s trial is set to begin late this year in November and his family had hoped the site will help them raise about $250,000 to cater for his legal defense. Earlier on when Ross was first arrested, his friends had pledged to raise some $1,000,000 to secure his pre-trial release. The site, FreeRoss.com has so far closed in on the target with over $180,000 of the target amount raised. One of Ross’s friends, a rich and influential bit coin entrepreneur Roger Ver offered a $10 match up for every tweet done in creating awareness about the alleged Silkroad owner’s legal situation. His campaign elicited more than 16,000 tweets translating to over $160,000.

Through this campaign, the alleged Silk Road owner’s family is hoping to also inform the whole public about the legal implications of this case alongside raising money. They believe if Mr. Ulbricht is successfully convicted then the entire public can as well forget about Internet freedom going into the future. They also think that user privacy and regulations guarding crypto currency like bit coins are at stake should the government have its way. People willing help get the word out, learn the latest developments about the campaign or follow Mr. Ulbricht’s litigation can do so by visiting FreeRoss.org. Those seeking to contribute can visit the link http://freeross.org/donate-now-2/

>> Click here to find the Silk Road URL and know how to get to the Silk Road 2.0 <<

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