He operated through “the ‘Dark Web,’ a network of computer servers around the world accessed only through The Onion Router or TOR” (USA Today). He facilitated voluntary, victimless trade in drugs, online. He is “Ross Ulbricht, the operator of Silk Road, a sprawling underground Internet drug bazaar.”
Enter the criminal syndicate known as Uncle Sam. It had outlawed the commerce Mr. Ulbricht had facilitated between consenting adults. In order to catch Ulbricht, Uncle Sam put to work its vast resources, culled from robbing us, its subjects. Now, federal agents are auctioning off Ulbricht’s private property, which is tantamount to legalized theft.
Federal agents shut down the Silk Road site in October 2013 and seized 29,655 bitcoins, now worth about $7.2 million, from the Silk Road server where buyers and sellers stored the currency. The government also seized 144,336 bitcoins, now worth $35 million, from Ulbricht’s computers. A judge in January ordered the sale of Ulbricht’s bitcoins.
The March 5 sale is the federal government’s third bitcoin auction stemming from its Silk Road prosecution. The federal agency will accept e-mail bids from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 5. Bidders must pre-register by March 2 (USA Today).
Not content with stealing a young man’s life and property, the federal government has subjected Ross Ulbricht to a Stalinist show trial, during which due process was practically denied. Via Target Liberty:
The following statement has been issued by the family of Ross Ulbricht, who was recently convicted of being the mastermind of Silk Road:
Ross’ trial is now over.
We were shocked — horrified really — at how unfair it was. Day four saw a reversal from when we last wrote you. Before that we expected evidence favorable to Ross would continue to be presented, and the complete story told.
Instead, the government’s own exculpatory evidence was suppressed; defense witnesses were blocked from testifying; and Ross’ attorney was hamstrung, unable to effectively cross examine government witnesses. It was a one-sided presentation that suppressed facts essential to Ross’ defense.
This is a good overview from Forbes, read here. You can also read about the trial here, and about Ross during the trial here. We will continue to post more.
Ross’ attorney said he will appeal. This is not over! We believe it’s essential for everyone to have a fair trial. When a trial isn’t fair, it is a threat to us all.
Meanwhile, this is a very hard time for Ross and our family. Thanks to everyone who has reached out to us. Your love and support mean so much.
Please send Ross a note. It’s easy to feel cut off and despairing in prison. We know it will help him to hear from you. His address is below.
MCC NEW YORK
METROPOLITAN CORRECTIONAL CENTER
150 PARK ROW
NEW YORK, NY 10007
As always, this is an expensive fight. We are facing a mountain of debt from the trial and need funds to pursue the appeal. Please spread the word, and donate if you can.
The Ulbricht family
“Addicted To The Drug War.”