Ross Ulbricht, a 2006 graduate accused of founding and running Silk Road, an online drug market, was found guilty on Feb. 4 on seven counts ranging from operating a continuing criminal enterprise to money laundering.
Ulbricht, who was arrested in 2013 by FBI agents, faces a minimum of 30 years in prison and could face a life sentence.
The jury, composed of six men and six women, took about 3 hours to convict Ulbricht according to reports.During the trial, prosecutors said $213 million in bitcoins, an online currency, were used on the website to buy and sell illegal drugs and other banned items.
They said Ulbricht, using the alias of Dread Pirate Roberts, founded and ran the site from 2011 to 2013.Federal agents testified that they found maintenance logs, weekly reports, journal entries and other documents on Ulbricht’s computer that documented his management of the website.
Ulbricht’s attorneys admitted that he founded the site but claimed he only ran the site for a few months. Ulbricht claimed Mark Karpeles, the former head of Mt. Gox Co., a bitcoin exchange that went bankrupt last year, or another individual was the one who was actually behind the operation of the website.
Joshua Dratel, Ulbricht’s lawyer, said his client will appeal the verdict.
Ulbricht is also facing a murder solicitation charge in Baltimore for allegedly hiring a hit man to kill a Silk Road user who was attempting to extort Ulbricht for $500,000.
More on this story as it develops.