Silk Road drug website founder Ross Ulbricht jailed
- 29 May 2015
He was given two life sentences The founder of online illegal drug marketplace "The Silk Road", Ross Ulbricht, has been sentenced to life in prison.
Prosecutors say that his dark web site sold more than $200m (£131m) worth of drugs anonymously.
He was found guilty of charges including conspiracy to commit drug trafficking, money laundering and computer hack1ng.
The site was shut down in 2013 after police arrested Ulbricht.
He was was convicted in February of operating the site for nearly three years from 2011.
Users used the online currency Bitcoin to purchase drugs such as heroin, coca1ne and LSD.
The untraceable deals earned him at least $18m.
Prosecutors say that six people who died from overdoses bought drugs via the site.
Ulbricht's supporters maintained his innocence
The dark web
The Silk Road was only accessible on the dark web, a part of the internet that requires the specialist Tor software to access.
Tor was created by the US government to help provide activists with anonymity but is now often used to mask illegal transactions.
As well as drugs, the Silk Road also offered hack1ng equipment and stolen passports.
Prosecutors had sought the heavy sentence as a deterrent.
US District Judge Katherine Forrest told Ulbricht that he was "no better a person than any other drug dealer".
"There must be no doubt that lawlessness will not be tolerated," she told a tearful Ulbricht.
Ulbricht had expressed remorse and had written to the judge begging to not receive a life sentence as it was akin to a death sentence.
"I know you must take away my middle years," he wrote. "but please leave me my old age."
[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]