The US Supreme Court has conclusively ruled that Ross Ulbricht, the founder and mastermind behind the infamous dark web marketplace ‘Silk Road’, will stay behind bars for the rest of his days. Mr. Ulbricht, who is accused of distribution of drugs, hacking, money laundering, fraud and other charges, has been convicted to a life sentence in 2015.
Ulbricht, who was better known as ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’ in dark web, claimed that federal agents unlawfully tracked his internet activity, which led to his arrest and conviction. He also stated that life imprisonment with no possibility of parole was disproportionate punishment for the crimes he committed.
Ulbricht’s last chance was certiorari – an order by which a higher court reviews a case already tried in a lower court. However, the Supreme Court included the case of Ulbrich vs. United States in the list of 19 denied certiorari, seemingly bringing the case of one of the most prominent cyber criminals to a close, much to the dismay of his supporters, calling the court decision “crushingly disappointing”.
— Free_Ross (@Free_Ross) June 28, 2018
Twenty organizations from opposite sides of the political spectrum expressed support for Ulbricht’s petition. These include Gun Owners of America, the Reason Foundation and the National Lawyers Guild.
In October of 2017, the US Department of Justice auctioned the 144,336 BTC seized in the closure of Silk Road for around $48 million.
It is estimated that around $183 million worth of drugs were sold on Silk Road and, according to the prosecution, at least six overdose deaths have been linked to the drugs bought on the dark web marketplace. Allegedly, Ulbricht also tried to hire hitmen for five murders in order to protect Silk Road’s anonymity, although there is no evidence any of them actually occurred.
Ulbricht charged a transaction fee in BTC for every trade in the platform and his net worth was estimated to be in the millions. Keep in mind that he was arrested in 2013, when BTC cost a mere $200. However, as the Silk Road grew, so did the FBI interest in it and the man behind its operations, which led to the inevitable conclusion of Ulbricht getting caught.
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I have been following the crypto markets since mid 2017, just in time to witness the incredible surge of the digital asset industry. Fascinated by the potential of blockchain technology I’ve started to dig deeper and that’s how I ended up meeting the Toshi Times team. I hold a Political Science degree, therefore the crypto regulation development is particularly interesting for me. I’m also heavily involved with music, running my own label, a YouTube channel and working with distribution. People call blockchain the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ and I believe it will change our daily lives in the coming years and we will have the front row seats to witness it.