Ulbricht Gets Life Prison Term For Online Drug Marketplace Silk Road


Ross Ulbricht, the founder of Silk Road, a notorious online marketplace for the sale of heroin, cocaine, LSD and other illegal drugs, was given a life prison term Friday by a federal judge in New York City, the New York Times reports. Ulbricht, 31, was sentenced by Judge Katherine Forrest for his role as what prosecutors described as “the kingpin of a worldwide digital drug-trafficking enterprise.” Ulbricht had faced a minimum of 20 years in prison on one count. In handing down a much longer sentence, Judge Forrest told Ulbricht that “what you did in connection with Silk Road was terribly destructive to our social fabric.”

The Times said Ulbricht's high-tech drug bazaar was novel and full of intrigue, operating in a part of the Internet known as the dark web, which allowed deals to be made anonymously, out of the reach of law enforcement. In Silk Road's nearly three years, over 1.5 million transactions were carried out involving several thousand seller accounts and more than 100,000 buyer accounts. Transactions used the virtual currency Bitcoin, and Ulbricht, operating under the pseudonym Dread Pirate Roberts, took in millions of dollars in commissions, prosecutors said. They said his conviction was “the first of its kind, and his sentencing is being closely watched.”

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