The Silk Road, an online, black-market bazaar, has been shut down by the Feds. Ross Ulbricht, the creator, owner, and operator of The Silk Road has been charged with Conspiracy, Narcotics Trafficking, Money Laundering, and Computer Hacking. It is also alleged that Ulbricht solicited a murder-for-hire in order to protect his web platform.
The Silk Road was an underground website where vendors and buyers could conduct transactions involving methamphetamine, LSD, ecstasy or MDMA, opioids, precursor drugs such as pseudoephedrine, prescription drugs, crystal cocaine, heroin as well as fake IDs, passports, social security cards, and driver’s licenses. The website operated from January 2011 through September 2013.
Hacking services were also offered on The Silk Road. For example, one vendor offered to hack into any Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking accounts. There were also tutorials on how to hack ATM machines.
Many individuals purchased large quantities of narcotics from this site with the intent to distribute those substances. For instance, a young man in Orange County, California has been charged with possession with intent to distribute thousands of ecstasy pills. The young man purchased these drugs from The Silk Road and they were delivered right to his door.
Buying and selling narcotics online is a federal offense. Most illegal substances carry mandatory minimum sentences of either 5 or 10 years in Federal Court depending on the type and quantity of the drug. If a person who is charged with these crimes has any prior convictions for drug sales, they can face mandatory 20-year sentences or even life in prison.
If you or a loved one are under investigation by a federal agency or if you have been charged with a crime in federal court, it is critical that you retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. The Law Office of Diane C. Bass has extensive experience in Federal Court. Please contact our office today.