Policy: Technology

On the trail of Silk Road's Dread Pirate Roberts

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Around the Web,newsgatherr,War on Drugs,Technology,Bitcoin
Ross Ulbrecht of Austin, Texas, is an Eagle Scout, has a degree in physics and last year gave an interview to StoryCorps that's still on YouTube.

Now, the New York Times asks, is he the Dread Pirate Roberts?

Not the original Dread Pirate Roberts, the character who figured in the film "The Princess Bride" — the Dread Pirate Roberts who was the head of the unofficial eBay of drugdom called Silk Road.

Writes the Times' David Segal:

A criminal complaint laid out the charges, which included narcotics trafficking, computer hacking and money laundering. An indictment in a parallel but separate investigation, run out of Baltimore, included this startling detail: Some of Dread Pirate Roberts’s booty was spent to commission killings — six killings in total, to be done by hit men whose targets were deemed by Dread Pirate Roberts to threaten Silk Road.

None of the orders resulted in actual deaths, the authorities said. One, in fact, was an elaborate fiction concocted by a federal agent posing as a drug dealer. In a scene that sounds as if it were lifted from “Breaking Bad,” federal agents traveled to Utah to fake a beating and execution, sending the evidently grisly photographs to D.P.R., as the government calls him in its complaint.

“What’s done is done,” D.P.R. would later write to the putative dealer.

Read the complete story at the link below.

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