Ross Ulbricht, the mastermind behind the Silk Road online black market, today observed a solemn milestone – a decade of incarceration following the seizure of his laptop by the FBI in 2013.
The United States authorities had sentenced him to a double life sentence back in 2013.
Silk Road, initiated in 2011, was orchestrated by Ulbricht himself, who operated under the pseudonym “Dread Pirate Roberts” from his personal laptop.
It was a pioneering darknet market, featuring a payment system rooted in Bitcoin.
Nevertheless, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) dealt a decisive blow on October 1, 2013, when they confiscated Ulbricht’s laptop.
Court documents from the case reveal that Silk Road facilitated transactions amounting to a staggering 9,519,664 Bitcoin between February 2011 and July 2013, collecting a commission of 600,000 Bitcoin.
At the time, this translated to approximately $1.2 billion in sales and a commission of around $80 million.
In 2015, a U.S. federal court found Ulbricht guilty on various charges linked to Silk Road’s operations, meting out a sentence of two life terms and an additional forty years, all without the possibility of parole.
Ulbricht’s case has garnered significant attention, with numerous voices advocating for clemency for the website’s founder.
A dedicated website advocating for Ulbricht’s freedom has garnered support from more than 250 organizations and half a million individuals who have signed a virtual petition seeking his release.