Silk Road - life sentence...


Have you guys been following this at all?

On Friday, a 31-year-old man who started a website where people bought and sold drugs and engaged in other illegal behavior got sentenced to life in prison without parole.
The man, Ross Ulbricht, was convicted of seven felonies, including trafficking drugs on the internet, narcotics-trafficking conspiracy, running a continuing criminal enterprise, computer hacking, and money laundering.

Those are indeed all serious crimes. And, having been convicted of them, Ulbricht certainly deserves some punishment.
But life in prison without parole?
Come on.
It’s time we Americans woke up to the fact that our desire to be “tough on crime” has gone way past the point of fairness and usefulness and is now just ruining lives and consuming precious resources that could be far better used elsewhere.
It’s also time for Americans to admit that our strategy in the “war on drugs” — criminalization and punishment — is not only misguided and arbitrary but has also utterly failed.

WikipediaAmerica’s prison population has exploded in the past 40 years. Thanks in part to the “war on drugs” and mandatory sentencing, more than 2 million Americans are now in jail — about one in every 100 adults.
That’s the second-highest rate of per capita incarceration in the world, second only to the Seychelles. (The Seychelles!)
In total, about 3% of Americans are either in jail or have a family member in jail.
Leaving aside fairness and utility, this mass incarceration isn’t free: Each imprisoned American costs the rest of us an estimated $31,000 a year to keep behind bars.
The main justifications for our draconian sentences, meanwhile — deterrence and prevention — are also not working, especially when it comes to illegal drugs.

WikipediaMore than 40 years after we launched the “war on drugs,” America is still hooked. The root cause of this ongoing consumption, importantly, is not that we haven’t yet caught and jailed everyone who sells drugs. It’s that Americans love drugs. And if we have demonstrated anything over the past 40 years, it’s that we’ll risk and spend almost anything to get them.
Then there’s the absurd and arbitrary distinction we draw between bad drugs (illegal, immoral) and good drugs. (Sell everywhere! Serve at every party and restaurant!). Alcohol and cigarettes, which also “hook” people, destroy health and lives, and cause death and harm to those who don’t use them (second-hand smoke, drunk driving, abused families) are legal, billion-dollar industries, and these drugs are available and consumed everywhere.
The only difference between them and illegal drugs is that they’re legal and regulated.
Some people argue that Ulbricht deserves his life sentence because that’s what a gangland “drug pusher” from a poor community would have gotten and Ulbricht shouldn’t be treated any differently. Fine. But the folks who sell drugs on the streets shouldn’t be getting life sentences without parole for drug offenses, either.
Others argue that Ulbricht deserves his life sentence because he actually tried to have people killed — there were reports of “murder-for-hire” solicitations in the initial allegations. If that’s true, that’s a valid consideration.
But “attempted murder” is not generally punished with life without parole. And, more importantly, no one should be sentenced for crimes they aren’t even charged with committing, much less convicted of.
Ulbricht’s life sentence won’t deter others from giving Americans access to the drugs they want. It won’t “protect” society. It won’t “serve justice” in some moral or cosmic sense. It will just waste another life behind bars and cost nonincarcerated taxpayers about $2 million over Ulbricht’s 50-year remaining life expectancy — $2 million that could be much better spent on something else.
It’s time we finally acknowledged that.


I am very curious to hear more about how the trial was conducted… is this the part where white people get to loot and riot?


He’s fucked.


Advice to anyone thinking of running a “libertarian” website that ended up being a drug marketplace, befriending an undercover FBI agent, and hiring said agent to murder someone to better your position.

Don’t do it.


Yea because then those FBI agents try and steal a bunch of bitcoins :lol:


FBI Agent fucked up and they couldn’t convict on the hitman charges due to character issues with the Agent.


If he had character issues that affected a case, he is former FBI agent.


I sure hope he’s a former agent … he and another were caught skimming bitcoins from the case.


I need to catch up on this case how did he directly profit from the silkroad setup?


The complaint alleges, however, that Force then, without authority, developed additional online personas and engaged in a broad range of illegal activities calculated to bring him personal financial gain. In doing so, the complaint alleges, Force used fake online personas, and engaged in complex Bitcoin transactions to steal from the government and the targets of the investigation. Specifically, Force allegedly solicited and received digital currency as part of the investigation, but failed to report his receipt of the funds, and instead transferred the currency to his personal account. In one such transaction, Force allegedly sold information about the government’s investigation to the target of the investigation. The complaint also alleges that Force invested in and worked for a digital currency exchange company while still working for the DEA, and that he directed the company to freeze a customer’s account with no legal basis to do so, then transferred the customer’s funds to his personal account. Further, Force allegedly sent an unauthorized Justice Department subpoena to an online payment service directing that it unfreeze his personal account.

Bridges allegedly diverted to his personal account over $800,000 in digital currency that he gained control of during the Silk Road investigation. The complaint alleges that Bridges placed the assets into an account at Mt. Gox, the now-defunct digital currency exchange in Japan. He then allegedly wired funds into one of his personal investment accounts in the United States mere days before he sought a $2.1 million seizure warrant for Mt. Gox’s accounts.

copypasta for ya


I was talking about Ulbricht they still haven’t said what he actually did besides accusations of trying to have people killed which he wasn’t even charged with.


ohhh, gotcha … misunderstood

Silk Road collected a commission on all sales… to the tune of $145 million at current exchange rates. He was also charged with Hacking and ID Fraud (dont recall the details).


Providing the means to conduct illegal businesses. They tried to get him for murder and then when it was reduced to the crimes for operating it and still makes him look like a violent criminal. He did profit off it. The prosecutors said the site had about $200,000,000 in sales and like $15,000,000 in commissions. While it did provide a way for people to get their drugs safer and probably did reduce crime, it did still provide a demand for something illegal. People who typically wouldn’t have the connections to buy heroin for example now could go online and buy it so IMO there is a demand that was added being easier.

He did get hit with all crimes including the criminal enterprise which essentially was the mob crime.


Nobody wants the blame the government for building and supporting Tor which Silk road lives on? :lol:


Does this guy deserve the same sentence as Bernie Madoff?


does this guy deserve a more severe sentence than someone who is a rapist? murderer?

realistically, he was just setting up a marketplace for adults to sell products to adults who wanted to buy those products. that whole contract killing thing didn’t hold any water, and the government couldn’t even find anyone ever born with those names.


There’s like a 3 hr Joe Rogan podcast where he talks about this case in detail… it was pretty interesting. I’ll see if I can dig it up.


does this guy deserve a sentence double that (2x life) than Jodi Arias, who stabbed (30x) and murdered her boyfriend?
fuck no.
he’s being railroaded by the system.


It’s a good one.
PS: Bill S. Preston, Esq.


Update: Denied serving 2 life sentences.

FBI agent got 8.5 years total.