Ross Ulbricht the founder of Silk Road an online black market has been sentenced to life in a federal penitentiary. Silk Road is a part of the dark web side of the internet. This part of the internet includes a variety of different websites that sell illegal merchandise, have mail order services, fund assassinations, have access to child pornography and set up hitmen among other things. Silk Road is a marketplace that is most known for being used to sell illegal drugs. The site allowed users to browse it anonymously and shop for products such as drugs like ecstasy and steroids and fake licenses.
Back in October of 2013 Ulbricht was arrested in San Francisco by the FBI believed to be the founded and owner of the site. He was charged with an array of crimes including computer hacking, money laundering, attempting to have 6 people killed by paying off others to commit murder and trafficking narcotics.
Judge Katherine Forrest who oversaw the trial handed down the most severe sentencing that she could, even surpassing the maximum punishment that the prosecuting team requested. She stated “The stated purpose [of the Silk Road] was to be beyond the law. In the world you created over time, democracy didn’t exist. You were captain of the ship, the Dread Pirate Roberts…Silk Road’s birth and presence asserted that its…creator was better than the laws of this country. This is deeply troubling, terribly misguided, and very dangerous.”
Ulbricht was also ordered to pay over $180 million dollars in restitutions based on what the court estimated was his total sales for the selling of illegal drugs and fake IDs.
Before the sentencing, Ulbricht stood up in front of the court and said “I’ve changed. I’m not the man I was when I created Silk Road…I’m a little wiser, a little more mature, and much more humble…I wanted to empower people to make choices in their lives…to have privacy and anonymity…I’m not a sociopathic person trying to express some inner badness.”