Law and Order

Alleged Silk Road Creator ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’ Indicted on Hacking, Money Laundering Charges

He was arrested last October.
Drugs! Get your drugs here!

Drugs! Get your drugs here!

The alleged creator and owner of now-defunct online drug emporium the Silk Road, Russ Ulbricht, has been indicted by a Manhattan federal court.

Known by his cool guy nickname Dread Pirate Roberts, Mr. Ulbricht was arrested in his hometown of San Francisco on Oct. 1 last year pursuant to a criminal complaint filed in Manhattan federal court.

The 29-year-old is charged with one count of narcotics conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years; one count of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison; one count of conspiracy to commit computer hacking, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; and one count of money laundering conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

As of Sept. 23, 2013, Silk Road had nearly 13,000 listings for controlled substances, listed under categories like cannabis, dissociatives, ecstasy, intoxicants, opioids, prescription, psychedelics and stimulants, according to a release from the United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York.

Mr. Ulbricht created the site in January 2011, the release says. Several thousand dealers employed its services, distributing hundreds of kilograms of illegal drugs and other unlawful goods and services. It was shut down by law enforcement in October 2013, meaning drug dealers everywhere will have to go back to using burner cell phones and creeping clients out IRL.

Approximately 173,991 Bitcoins, worth more than $150 million at today’s exchange rates, have been seized in the course of this investigation, which also implicated Bitcoin magnate Charlie Schrem.

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