Feds Raid Online Drug Market Silk Road

Agents arrested alleged proprietor known as "Dread Pirate Roberts" and took $3.6 million in Bitcoin, the second largest seizure of the currency in history. Government alleges murder-for-hire scheme

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United States Department of Justice

The notice that now greets you when you try to access Silk Road

U.S. law enforcement officials have shut down down Silk Road, the online drug market, following a raid and an arrest of Ross William Ulbricht, the site’s alleged proprietor.

According to a Justice Department release, Ulbricht, 29, was arrested in San Francisco and will be presented in San Francisco federal court Wednesday morning. Until Wednesday, the person who ran the site was known only by the pseudonym “Dread Pirate Roberts.”

In addition to arresting Ulbricht, the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized approximately $3.6 million in Bitcoin, making it the second biggest seizure in the digital currency’s history.

Federal prosecutors in New York charged Ulbricht with narcotics trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. A criminal complaint also alleges that in March 2013, Ulbricht engaged in a “murder-for-hire” scheme where he enlisted one Silk Road user to murder another Silk Road user who was threatening to release the identities of all of the website’s users.

The operation that led to Ulbricht’s arrest was a collaboration between the FBI, police, and prosecutors in the Southern District of New York; since November 2011, agents claim to have made over 100 different drug purchases through Silk Road. The complaint estimates that Silk Road has processed transactions worth over a total of 9.5 million Bitcoins, which adds up to roughly $1.2 billion in sales.

Ulbricht “deliberately set out to establish an online criminal marketplace outside the reach of law enforcement or governmental regulation,” FBI agent Christopher Tarbell said in the criminal complaint.

Silk Road, where cocaine and heroin were trafficked, is an online drug marketplace that exists on the “Deep Web,” a portion of the Internet that is hidden from typical browsers and not indexed by search engines. Silk Road and other websites on the Deep Web are accessible only through a special anonymized browser named Tor. Because of the privacy the Deep Web affords, corners of it have become home to thriving online black markets, with Silk Road being the most infamous.

Ulbricht will appear before Judge Joseph C. Spero in San Francisco federal court for a detention hearing at 9:30 a.m. PDT on Friday, October 4.

Below is the full criminal complaint.

Criminal Complaint Against Alleged Silk Road Proprietor Ross William Ulbricht

23 comments
WesIngram
WesIngram

Bet you money that the hitman killed those people and this is the fbi covering its tracks for not have busting him sooner.

Bunty
Bunty

So they haven't shown us the money - some $80 million in commissions he's supposed to have. That's probably stashed in the blogosphere somewhere.

wjsobo1
wjsobo1

I only have one suggestion. If this man actually has 80 million dollars stashed somewhere, then the government

should immediately accept a plea deal and move on. It sounds as though our government resources were used extensively. The amount of publicity will be outrageous, Every aspect of the governments actions will be scrutinized under a microscope and challenged at every juncture. It is not in our governments best interest to spend one more thin dime on this. Our resources should be used for current ongoing activities.

prince_peej
prince_peej

tragic news for the real people. Now the government is down the real people should rise for their rights and free will!

It is now the time to push for the legalization for cannabis as the countrys system is crumbling let the law of cannabis crumble and let the people effected by the SR shutdown lead the change!

THE REAL PEOPLE WILL WIN IF WE UNITE

reasonableandintelligent
reasonableandintelligent

So... The federal gov't stole 3.6 million USD from users of the site... And this is what we call justice? Honestly, the only reason websites like this exist is because the federal government like to ignore all advise from qualified professionals and prohibit drugs and have a high drinking age. Never in history has prohibition worked so why do they keep trying?

curtispro
curtispro

Legalize Drugs! Heroin addicts have to use freaking Krokodil now. Get the government to administer these drugs along with offer of help for abuse. Stop trying to control everybody - it's boring, lame, and doesn't work. 

classyassassassin
classyassassassin

Oh and by the way, there are still 2 black market sites currently being used by SR refugees :)


Government can't stop these people from buying their drugs. 

classyassassassin
classyassassassin

I would like to know how they were able to shut down the site. I feel as if DPR had a plan if this kind of thing were to happen. On the shut down page there is a watermark of the SR camel, some are hoping it's a sign from DPR. Could there be another Dread Pirate Roberts waiting to take his place, waiting to setup the Silk Road on a completely different server.. We will see in time to come. It's a sad day for drug users across the world. I will mourn this day for the rest of my life.

Domesticatedrat
Domesticatedrat

Just another reason to keep the Government shut down !

jayq330
jayq330

I kind of knew the government didn't like the idea of money they can't keep track of, I smell a bitcoin setup.

jasonreed12
jasonreed12

Damn... Wish I knew about this before. All those tantalizing substances just a mouse click away. Now you tell me:(

MC
MC

Just like everything else they shut down, the moral of the story is to keep it simple.

Obbop
Obbop

Does this mean I won't be receiving my share of the funds from that nice young man in Lagos?

Ironman92
Ironman92

What do you know - crimes are still crimes.

BeVoluntaryist
BeVoluntaryist

Distributed network alternative in 3, 2, 1... they can't stop freedom.

JanekStelmach
JanekStelmach

This is a terrible loss for privacy, freedom and individual liberty.

Obbop
Obbop

@prince_peej  The Student Revolutionary Strike Force eagerly awaits the sparks that start the fires of the much-needed Revolutionary War Two

george.soropos
george.soropos

@jayq330 yeah sure, actually it was a coalition of the Illuminati, the Masons and the Girl Scouts that did it

Tuxavant
Tuxavant

@BeVoluntaryistThis shutdown has nothing to do with a vulnerability in Bitcoin nor TOR anonymous network. The IDIOT DPR ordered fraudulent identity cards which were seized in transit to his house and negotiated the development of the site with his personal email address.

TheChefAndy
TheChefAndy

@JanekStelmach I disagree that this is a terrible loss for privacy... Tor has not been compromised: its designers always flatly stated that it was not designed to protect a resource against someone with global data monitoring access. It was the wrong tool for the job, and now they're paying for it. Tor is still good for what it was initially designed for, encrypting smaller scale communication and data sharing, and it's still no good for running a large scale online business that would be targeted by a major world power.