Feds Arrest Alleged ‘Dread Pirate Roberts,’ the Brain Behind the Silk Road Drug Site

Kim Zetter reports:

The FBI has arrested the San Francisco man they say ran Silk Road, the notorious underground digital bazaar that allowed traffickers to anonymously peddle heroin, cocaine and nearly anything else illegal.

Ross William Ulbricht, 29, who allegedly operated the site as “Dread Pirate Roberts,” was charged in the Southern District of New York with narcotics trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. A second complaint out of Maryland charges him with conspiring to commit murder, after he allegedly paid hit men to kill an employee of Silk Road and one of the site’s vendors.

Read more on Wired.  Brian Krebs has additional coverage on KrebsOnSecurity.com.

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  1. IA Eng - October 3, 2013

    I’ve read up on some of this, and it appears that the Feds knew about this since the middle of 2011 or before. I am sure they have to mount a case against all of this activity. There are indications that the Feds also had access to the server(s), and I am sure they probably created themselves an account and read everything that was accessible on the server.

    This site was up for enarly 3 full years ? The reports are conflicting. Some say the site was not part of the Tor network, and all data on the site was not encrypted. Some of the sites say the Feds have had a copy of the website for some time, meaning that they have had admin rights to the site to do so.

    I am sure the Feds have a hit list of individuals who have made “purchases” from the website and it would be interesting to know if any VIP’s are on the hitlist.

    Additionally, there is a new book coming out about the ability to track bitcoins back to an owner, and I am sure the author was consulted.

    This is good to see. People aren’t born “crooks”, and they typically leave a personal trail of what they have done in the past that can link them to things in the future. Brian Krebs has a long article about this website, and the now defunct users of that site even tried to frame him by shipping drugs to his residence. A bold but stupid move on the website to try and frame Krebs.

    Now its only a matter of time before many a pusher is lined up at a court house.

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