October 02, 2013

"Even during a federal government shutdown, drug pirates aren’t safe."

Forbes "Popular online black market Silk Road has been shut down by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and an individual alleged to be its infamous owner, ‘Dread Pirate Roberts,’ has been arrested, according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation complaint." by Alex Konrad

'Ross William Ulbricht, allegedly the ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’ owner of Silk Road, was arrested in San Francisco on Tues. at 3:15pm PT at a public library and his popular site shut down.

'Krebs on Security uploaded a photo of Silk Road apparently shut down by an FBI raid and has since published the full government complaint. It alleges that Ulbricht is the mastermind behind the Silk Road, and the ‘DPR’ behind its booming marketplace of activity for narcotics and other illicit goods, the most famous use of the open-source electronic money known as Bitcoin.

'The FBI calls Silk Road in the complaint “the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet today,” used by several thousand drug dealers and with revenue of over 9.5 million Bitcoins to date, which the FBI approximates as worth $1.2 billion in sales. (Bitcoin values fluctuate widely over time, making any comparison difficult.)

'Ulbricht has been charged with one count each of narcotics trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. In perhaps the most surprising instance in the FBI complaint, the government alleges that DPR even used his site to try to arrange an assassination.

'Ulbricht allegedly paid a bounty of 1,670 Bitcoins, about $150,000, to put out a murder hit on a Silk Road user seeking to extort him. Ulbricht was told that the crime had been carried out, although the FBI could not confirm any person was actually killed.

'Agents found Ulbricht after Canadian border authorities routinely checked a package intended for his San Francisco home and discovered nine fake identification cards within, which Ulbricht allegedly was seeking to obtain to rent more servers to power Silk Road as it massively expanded.'

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