Alleged Silk Road Mastermind Pleads Not Guilty To Trafficking | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Alleged Silk Road Mastermind Pleads Not Guilty To Trafficking

Ross William Ulbricht, the accused proprietor of a shadowy online marketplace that specialized in illegal transactions, has plead not guilty in a Manhattan court to drug trafficking, computer hacking, money laundering and running a continuing criminal conspiracy.

A trial for Ulbricht, who allegedly ran the now-defunct Silk Road, has been set for Nov. 3.

As we reported after Ulbricht's October arrest, the 29-year-old is also known by his hacker handle, Dread Pirate Roberts. He was arrested in a San Francisco library and has been in custody ever since. In a criminal complaint filed immediately after his arrest, Ulbrich was accused of narcotics trafficking and soliciting a Silk Road user "to execute a murder-for-hire of another Silk Road user."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Serrin Turner said Friday that the government may bring additional charges before Ulbricht's trial. The Associated Press says prosecutors have promised to present 'voluminous' evidence at trial.

The AP writes:

"Authorities say Silk Road, which had nearly 1 million registered users by July, generated more than $1 billion in illicit business from January 2011 through September. The website used Bitcoin, the tough-to-track digital currency, before it was shut down."

"... During his court appearance Friday, Ulbricht stood in his prison blue uniform with his hands clasped behind his back, answering 'not guilty' each time [U.S. District Judge Katherine] Forrest read aloud a charge against him."

"His lawyer, Joshua Dratel, said he would be filing motions to challenge the charges."

"Federal investigators say Silk Road users anonymously browsed through nearly 13,000 listings under such categories as cannabis, psychedelics and stimulants. Authorities said many of the transactions were illicit."

The charges and setting of a trial date for Ulbricht comes barely a week after Charlie Shrem, CEO of the BitInstant bitcoin exchange, was charged with money laundering in "a scheme to sell over $1 million in Bitcoins to user of 'Silk Road.'"

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

The World Music Education of Philip Glass

In his new memoir, Music Without Words, the composer explains how a chance meeting with Ravi Shankar sparked a fascination with the cultures of the world and their music.
NPR

PepsiCo Swaps Diet Drink's Aspartame For Other Artificial Sweeteners

The company says Diet Pepsi consumers are concerned about aspartame. But the Food and Drug Administration has long affirmed that the sweetener is safe in amounts commonly used by beverage companies.
NPR

8 Obama Jokes That Stood Out From The White House Correspondents Dinner

Every year, the president sits down for dinner with Washington reporters and delivers a stand-up routine. From his "bucket list" to Hillary Clinton, here's what he came up with this year.
NPR

As Health Apps Hop On The Apple Watch, Privacy Will Be Key

The notion of receiving nutrition advice from artificial intelligence on your wrist may seem like science fiction. But health developers are betting this kind of behavior will become the norm.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.