After deliberating for three and a half hours, a jury has found Ross Ulbricht guilty of all seven counts he was accused of, which means he could potentially spend the rest of his life in jail.
The 30-year-old, who was arrested in October 2013, was believed to be “Dread Pirate Roberts,” the founder and operator of Silk Road, the infamous online narcotics marketplace hidden in the Deep Web.
The defense tried to prove that Ulbricht did create Silk Road, but left it in the hand of other operators, then “returned” and was framed for things he didn’t do.
Obviously, the prosecution presented enough evidence to convince the jury that he was the mastermind and executor behind the illegal marketplace.
Ulbricht was found guilty of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, launder money and hack computers, as well as of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise (so-called “kingpin” charge). The initial murder-for-hire solicitation charges were dropped before the trial.
Ulbricht’s sentencing has been scheduled for May 15, but his defense team is planning on appealing the decision.
“Ulbricht’s arrest and conviction – and our seizure of millions of dollars of Silk Road Bitcoins – should send a clear message to anyone else attempting to operate an online criminal enterprise. The supposed anonymity of the dark web is not a protective shield from arrest and prosecution,” Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara commented the conviction.