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Silk Road Fallout Continues as Libertas Takes Prison Plea Deal for up to 20 Years

The fallout from the Silk Road, perhaps the most infamous darknet market in history, continues. Gary Davis, aka Libertas, who was a site administrator and moderator, has pleaded guilty to distributing massive amounts of narcotics. Sentencing is scheduled for 17 January 2019, and Libertas faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

US Attorney Geoffrey S Berman said: “Silk Road was a secret online marketplace for illegal drugs, hacking services, and a whole host of other criminal activity. As he admitted today, Gary Davis served as an administrator who helped run the Silk Road marketplace. Davis’s arrest, extradition from Ireland, and conviction should send a clear message: the purported anonymity of the dark web is not a protective shield from prosecution.”

Libertas’ duties included moderating forum posts, arbitrating trade disputes, and enforcing marketplace rules. Apparently, he was paid a weekly salary in excess of USD 1,000.

Silk Road operated from 2011-2013 and transacted BTC 9.52 million. Although darknet activity comprises only a minuscule fraction of Bitcoin volume in 2018, back when Silk Road rose to prominence, it has been speculated that a large amount of Bitcoin’s price rise and adoption was driven by illicit trading there. Indeed, the collapse of Bitcoin’s price in late 2013 coincided with the shutdown of Silk Road.

Roughly BTC 174,000 were seized during a sting operation and these were eventually auctioned off. The owner of Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht aka Dread Pirate Roberts, is serving a life sentence in prison after a lengthy and controversial court battle, with his only hope being a presidential pardon.

Due to the anonymous nature of Silk Road, which used Tor and Bitcoin to shield operator’s and user’s identities, it took years to find Libertas and extradite him to the United States. It is believed by enforcement that there were only three team members working for Ulbricht. The other team members have not been sentenced yet.

 

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Brian Krebs – Feds Arrest Silk Road Founder, Shutter Website

Brian Krebs – Feds Arrest Silk Road Founder, Shutter Website:

Security expert Brian Krebs (@BrianKrebs) was first with news that the FBI had taken over the Silk Road marketplace website and later that the site’s founder was arrested by U.S. authorities. Excerpts:

“Federal agents in San Francisco arrested the Silk Road’s alleged mastermind. Prosecutors say 29-year-old Ross William Ulbricht, a.k.a “Dread Pirate Roberts” (DPR), will be charged with a range of criminal violations, including conspiracy to commit drug trafficking, money laundering, computer hacking and murder for hire.”

“[The FBI’s big break came] on July 23, 2013, when investigators gained access to a Silk Road server and made a complete copy of the data on the machine.”

“Finally, DPR tripped himself up when he ordered some fake IDs from an international Silk Road vendor and had them sent to his residence. The fraudulent IDs were intercepted at the border by customs agents working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which paid a visit to the address to which the documents were to be delivered.”

“Ulbrich graduated from the University of Texas with a bachelors degree in Physics in 2006, and that from 2006 to 2010, he attended graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania School of Materials Science and Engineering.”

“The government also announced today that pursuant to this action, it has also seized approximately 26,000 Bitcoins worth roughly $3.6 million, in what it’s calling the largest ever seizure of Bitcoins.”

 – http://bit.ly/17tnJgs
 – http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=306331.0 (Further discussion on the topic)

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