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.
It is now emerging, that Ross Ulbricht got help with the construction of the Silk Road website. Richard Bates, Ulbricht’s college friend testified in the case against the alleged owner of the darknet bazaar that he helped put up what was once the largest illegal-drug marketplace on the internet.
Bates said he helped with the coding for two years between 2010 and 2011. He however, claims he initially had no information of what he was working on. Despite what he terms as Ulbricht’s partial disclosure, he kept meeting the alleged Silkroad mastermind often especially during the busy construction period. He also admits that he continued to offer coding advice even after Ulbricht had revealed that the website was going to be an online bazaar for illicit drugs.
Bates, who now works for eBay as a software engineer however, admits to more than just helping code for the website. He admits that he bought drugs on the Silk Road as well. Bates even confessed that Ulbricht did hand him a black garbage bag with psychedelic mushroom. Bates’ testimony now contradicts opening arguments made by the defendant’s attorney, Joshua Dratel. Dratel informed the court that Ulbricht had long handed over the reins of the Silkroad by the time the authorities allege the illicit transactions took place.
According to these arguments, Ulbricht is nothing more than a “fall guy” who developed an “economic experiment” whose stresses, he is made to bear albeit unfairly. It is believed that the darknet bazaar handled transactions in contraband valued at about $1.2 billion.
FBI agents questioned Bates back in 2013 following Ulbricht’s arrest. He now claims he lied to the agents during this initial round of questioning especially concerning his involvement in the Silk Road saga. He admitted in court to buying ecstasy, marijuana, mushrooms, Vicodin and even antibiotics through the bazaar.