The black market drug website dubbed Silk Road is now shut down and its founder and owner faces a slew of charges like conspiracy to traffic narcotics and computer hacking, murder solicitation and conspiracy to launder money, FBI officials said.
Ross William Ulbricht, 29, of San Francisco, also known as “Dread Pirate Roberts” is now under arrest and faces charges, according to a federal criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of New York.
FBI Special Agent Christopher Tarbell said not only did Ulbricht own and operate a platform for drug dealers around the world to sell controlled substances via the Internet, but did also — along with his conspirators — possess and distribute controlled substances, as well as solicit “a Silk Road user to execute a murder-for-hire of another Silk Road user, who was threatening to release the identities of thousands of users of the site.”
Tarbell also said Ulbricht had, along with others, conspired to commit computer hacking offenses, accessed computers without authorization, and stole information held on them for financial gain.
Ulbricht “has controlled and overseen all aspects of Silk Road,” and was the only one to control the “massive profits” it generated, according to the complaint.
The agent went on to describe the workings of Silk Road and the Tor network (which the marketplace uses to anonymize its customers), and the details of the discovery of the real life identity behind the Dread Pirate Roberts online persona.