The alleged owner of the Silk Road, an online black market, has been sentenced to life in prison by Judge Katherine B. Forrest in a Federal District Court in Manhattan. He was found guilty on seven charges, including engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, narcotics conspiracy and money laundering.
The evidence found to link Ulbricht to the site was copious. Ulbricht owned the PGP email signature used to sign messages from the “Dread Pirate Roberts,” the Silk Road admin, and witnesses recall him asking for help for his “website where people can buy drugs.”
The minimum sentence in his case is 20 years, although the death penalty has been ruled out.
“He developed a blueprint for a new way to use the Internet to undermine the law and facilitate criminal transactions,” said the office of Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, last week. Ulbricht, who called himself naive in a letter to the judge, plans to appeal the ruling.
Judge Forrest didn’t accept his self-assessment, instead calling Ulbricht’s Silk Road “a carefully planned life’s work.”
“It was your opus,” she said.