FBI seizes online black market Silk Road, owner arrested in San Francisco

By on October 2, 2013, 4:00 PM
fbi, san francisco, deep web, silk road, atlantis, black market, underground drug market, ross ulbricht

Deep Web underground drug market Atlantis abruptly shut down service late last month and now it’s the end of the road for the site that started it all: Silk Road. The FBI was finally able to determine who was behind the Silk Road, obtain a seizure warrant and shut the site down.

Authorities have arrested 29-year-old Ross Ulbricht in San Francisco, the man believed to be behind the site. A copy of the complaint filed in the Southern District of New York charged Ulbricht with narcotics trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy.

It also mentions that Dread Pirate Roberts once ordered a murder of someone who was trying to blackmail him. The parties allegedly agreed on a price of $150,000 and the job was said to be done although the FBI could find no evidence of a related homicide. As such, he isn’t being charged with murder.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Ulbricht – who allegedly went by the online handle Dread Pirate Roberts – studied physics in college and worked as a research scientist for five years. He was active on social media sites including Facebook, Google+, Stack Overflow and YouTube which is interesting considering how cautions Dread Pirate Roberts reportedly was in covering his tracks and those of Silk Road users.

The complaint claims the site has done $1.2 billion worth of business between February 2011 and July 2013 which netted Ulbricht nearly $80 million in commission based on current Bitcoin rates. During the same time period, the site had 957,079 registered users that conducted 1.2 million transactions.




User Comments: 11

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wastedkill said:

$1.2billion worth of business bull I mean big bull that is the biggest lie I have ever heard talk about trying to get this guy into prison by talking out your ass I mean come on how does 1.2million transactions result in $1.2billion worth of business thats like what $1k per transaction?

All I can see is he is going to be charged with nothing as its just all "conspiracies" I mean come on just look "computer hacking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy" when did he hack and where did he do money laundering?

davislane1 davislane1 said:

Ba da dun dun dun, another one bites the dust!

In all seriousness, do these guys really think they're going to be able to run billion dollar illegal enterprises indefinitely without getting caught? I thought a rule of the business (according to Hollywood) was not to smoke your own product.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

All I can see is he is going to be charged with nothing as its just all "conspiracies" I mean come on just look "computer hacking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy" when did he hack and where did he do money laundering?
You make it sound as if they are trying to pin the tail on the donkey. It wouldn't surprise me any at all if that were the case.

JC713 JC713 said:

Wow 1.2 billion dollars...

Camikazi said:

$1.2billion worth of business bull I mean big bull that is the biggest lie I have ever heard talk about trying to get this guy into prison by talking out your ass I mean come on how does 1.2million transactions result in $1.2billion worth of business thats like what $1k per transaction?

All I can see is he is going to be charged with nothing as its just all "conspiracies" I mean come on just look "computer hacking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy" when did he hack and where did he do money laundering?

Last I checked hitmen and drugs are extremely expensive especially if you are buying drugs in bulk. This isn't a thrift store where everything is cheap this is high end illegal activity. Also money laundering could have millions passing by in one shot.

ikesmasher said:

Upon viewing a screenshot posted in the last TS article about deep web, I think its easy to say plenty of transactions were upwards of 1k on silk road.

MilwaukeeMike said:

$1.2billion worth of business bull I mean big bull that is the biggest lie I have ever heard talk about trying to get this guy into prison by talking out your ass I mean come on how does 1.2million transactions result in $1.2billion worth of business thats like what $1k per transaction?

All I can see is he is going to be charged with nothing as its just all "conspiracies" I mean come on just look "computer hacking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy" when did he hack and where did he do money laundering?

This sort of connecting logic always surprises me. The human brain does this thing where if you don't understand how something could have happened you think it didn't happen. 'I don't understand HOW he committed his crimes therefore he's not guilty' Just because you don't think Silk Road transactions could be upwards of $1000 doesn't mean he's 'Going to be charged with nothing' as you put it.

Forget the money, ordering a hit alone will land you in jail.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Ba da dun dun dun, another one bites the dust!

In all seriousness, do these guys really think they're going to be able to run billion dollar illegal enterprises indefinitely without getting caught?

I don't think they think about it at all. According to interviews with gang members in prison (popular subjects of TV shows) they answer that question by saying they never planned on living that long. They don't have a 5 year plan, or even a 5 month plan. Their decision making process is as simple as 'Do I want to do it' or 'Do I not want to do it' Asking them 'where do you think you'll be in 5 years' would be like asking us what it'd be like to walk on Mars. They'd really have to think about it for a while to answer.

This is the same phenomenon that makes so many pro athletes go broke 2 years after they retire despite making enough for any 10 people in a lifetime. Savings Account?! Aint nobody got time for 'dat!

spencer spencer said:

This is a tragedy...The means by which they caught this guy were most likely extremely unconstitutional...how do they know this??? another win for tyranny over liberty .They are also probably going to arrest ww2 vets today because of the shutdown even though the ww2 memorial is privately funded;and even though we have no money to spend they are hiring multiple guards just to make sure the public can't get in this is the start of 1776.

Guest said:

"Last I checked hitmen and drugs are extremely expensive especially if you are buying drugs in bulk."

Um, not sure about hitmen but usually when you buy any product in bulk it is cheaper than buying the same amount of individual products. If you meant just simply buying a bunch of drugs then yes, in general, drugs are expensive at the street level. Buying in bulk is cheaper, but not cheaper than not buying anything at all.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Um, not sure about hitmen but usually when you buy any product in bulk it is cheaper than buying the same amount of individual products.
That means if you ordered a hit on everyone, you would get a real good bargain.

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