Ross Ulbricht, an admin and the convicted creator of the dark web market place “Silk Road” has just been handed a life sentence in the Federal District Court in New York, Friday the 29th of May 2015. The site is a well known drugs and hackers market place where the drugs and services can be bought in exchange for the crypto-currency Bitcoin. The site was shut down by the FBI following Ross’ arrest in 2013 however it was back online shortly afterwards; accompanied by a number of new competitors. He was originally arrested over allegations that he attempted to hire hitmen to kill people who stole funds from him, however the charges he was convicted on were 7 charges of narcotics trafficking, criminal enterprise, computer hacking and money laundering.
When Ulbricht was arrested in a San Fransisco library he was found logged into the silk road admin account “Dread Pirate Roberts”, his computer also contained a journal, private chat logs, the creating and day to day running of Silk Road as well as a linked Bitcoin account containing more than $18 million worth of Bitcoin. This discovery by the authorities was the strongest lead in their case against the 30 year old.
Before the sentence was passed Ross pleaded to the judge not to give him a life sentence and to give him something to work towards for when he would get out of prison. Throughout the trial Ulbrichts defense laid grounds for an appeal, objecting to the prosecutions methods and questioning the unlawful hacking of the Swedish servers that lead to his arrest. The trial heard that Ulbricht quit the Silk Road shortly after starting it and that he was “the perfect fall guy” for the true owners of the website. It is said that during the trial the defense was barred from producing evidence that could have led to an innocent verdict.