Before you read I would just like to point out that Silk Road 2.0 is still up. This article relates to the original Silk Road
The Silk Road online market founded in February of 2011 was named after the trade routes between India, China, Europe, and other Afro-Eurasian landmasses that came to wide use during the Han Dynasty from 206 BC to 220 AD. Today, however, the Silk Road site and its alleged creator and administrators are being actively pursued by United States law enforcers.
Trouble for the site began when Gawker published a story about it in June of 2011. This brought the website a lot of attention, prompting US Senator Charles Schumer to ask federal law enforcers to shut down the site. It was believed that the Silk Road had served as an online underground market for illegal drugs, among other things. This was followed by the separate convictions of two Australian Silk Road users in 2013 after they were found to have imported illegal drugs bought on the site.
On October 2, 2013, Ross William Ulbricht, whom authorities believed was the founder of the underground online market that earned USD $80 million in commissions, was arrested in San Francisco on suspicion of drug trafficking, money laundering, facilitating computer hacking, and six counts of attempted murder. However, prosecutors believe that the six murders meant to protect the site’s users did not take place despite the amount of $730,000 having been paid for the deeds.
Two days after his arrest in Glen Park Library, Ulbricht appeared during his arraignment in a San Francisco federal court and pleaded “not guilty” to all charges. The hearing was then rescheduled to begin on October 9, with Ulbricht being held without bail.
On October 9, Ulbricht, through his lawyer, admitted his identity as “Ross William Ulbricht”, but denied the aliases “Dread Pirate” Roberts”, “DPR”, and “Silk Road”. This prompted the San Francisco federal court to move the case to New York under custody of US marshals.
Last February 7, 2014, a court in the Southern District of New York scheduled a trial to begin in November after Ulbricht again pleaded “not guilty” to the charges against him. It was also decided that he would be held without bail in a detention center in Brooklyn.
Last February 27, the government provided Ulbricht’s defense team with data seized from Ulbricht’s computers. Reports revealed that the data included between eight and ten terabytes of information gathered for use in prosecuting the alleged Silk Road founder.