Silk Road drugs site busted by FBI: Rookies errors and contract killings
Have you been having a nice time buying all your lovely narcotics from Silk Road? Not anymore as the infamous drug vendor has been shut down by the FBI, arrested and charged with trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and $3.6m worth of the bitcoin crypto-currency has been confiscated by the feds.
Founder and main operator of the site (allegedly) Ross William Ulbricht (aka 'Dread Pirate Roberts') was nicked in a public library in San Francisco on Tuesday with Silk Road closed for business yesterday.
Alas, Ulbricht made a series of boobs which linked his real life identity with various online personas associated with Silk Road, according to the FBI, which is how they collared him. There might be the small matter of America's spying clan, the NSA, getting involved too.
"Silk Road has emerged as the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet today," said FBI agent Christopher Tarbell. "From in or about January 2011, up to and including in or about September 2013, ROSS WILLIAM ULBRICHT, a/k/a "Dread Pirate Roberts," a/k/a "DPR," a/k/a "Silk Road," the defendant, owned and operated an underground website known as "Silk Road," that provided a platform for drug dealers around the world to sell a wide variety of controlled substances via the Internet."
The FBI added that they'd "located in a certain foreign country the server used to host the silk road's website," and had gained access to it via a "mutual legal assistance request".
So what are these balls-ups from the site owner? Well, posting on programmer under his real name, he asked "How can I connect to a Tor hidden service using curl in php?" as well as postings in forums under "Altoids", advertising the Silk Road, asking the bitcoin community "to help out on a "venture-backed company," advising interested parties to email rossulbricht at gmail dot com.
More interesting though, is that the feds reckon that Dread Pirate Roberts payed a third-party to murder a user of Silk Road who was trying to extort him.
"I would like to put a bounty on his head if it's not too much trouble for you. What would be an adequate amount to motivate you to find him? Necessities like this do happen from time to time for a person in my position," Dread Pirate Roberts wrote to 'redandwhite'.
So there you have it. The life of a drug dealer, snared by rookie errors and trying to get people killed.