The proceedings against Ulbricht contained allegations of aiding and abetting illegal drug trafficking as well as an allegation of attempted murder. That charge was dropped in 2018, however, Ulbricht ended up being a scapegoat in the U.S. war on drugs for that set a strict precedent in future online markets.
He was found guilty on all charges and sentenced to two life imprisonment with an additional forty years and no parole.
The judiciary showed no forbearance and decided in Ulbricht’s case a draconian verdict for a First-time offender with non-violent charges. The attempted murder charge was later dropped, but the way it appeared was also significant in the trial.
Rental homicide charges
Ross Ulbricht was blackmailed by a user of Silk Road in 2013 and threatened to reveal the true identity of thousands of Silk Road users.
The hit men were fake, and it was all a sophisticated scam designed to extract thousands of bitcoins from Ulbricht.
Ross was defrauded of more than 7,000 BTC in total by the fake blackmailer.
Barely Sociable on Youtube delivers the conversations between Ulbricht and contacts from the Dark Web as Silk Road dealer (RealLucyDrop) and contract killer negotiator (RedandWhite). I recommend watching the video if you feel like some tension:
Ross Ulbricht ran an illegal drug market, and although no murder was committed, he still intended to murder those who blackmailed and cheated on Ulbricht. It is reasonable to assume that he expected Silk Road to continue growing into a digital darknet empire.
For some, Ross Ulbricht is the villain, for others he was an entrepreneur. There is often a fine line that the consequences, if exceeded, can be life changing.
The double life sentence without parole means Ulbricht is likely to spend many more decades in prison. It is a harsh penalty for what the indictment contains, and the final decision was a penalty rather than a corrective.
Ross Ulbricht doesn’t seem like a monster, and it’s evident he was threatened and blackmailed before deciding to keep going.
In addition, the murder charges were dropped because no real person was ever attempted.
In addition, the unequal treatment of Ross Ulbricht compared to judgments against users and administrators of Silk Road as well as follow-up marketplaces created after the crackdown on Silk Road is evident.