* One could also write a book naively taking all police claims at face value without applying any critical thinking, and it seems one Wired journalist did so...
Two federal agents tampered with important evidence, likely fabricated the entire “murder for hire” fiction, abused their law enforcement positions to steal millions of dollars worth of bitcoins, and carefully framed other people.
The literally corrupt federal agents got a slap on the wrist. They’ll both be out of prison soon.
But the young man who built a website for weed is to remain in prison for life.
What a sad, miscarriage of justice.
Yes, major corruption on the federal side. But not much sympathy for the crime here, esp. as it was so intentional and lucrative.
It's not hard to find a zero day in software used for parts of our critical infrastructure. It's not hard to create potent drugs from small amounts of precursors. It's not hard to build a gun or a bomb in a machine shop.
But the thing is, most people that have those skills are not malicious. At worst, they're money-motivated and will sell these types of society damaging substances or objects, but with the long arm of the law and a credible threat of jail time most of the people that would try to make a quick buck are dissuaded from doing so, or at least slowed by the resultant paranoia.
I know it's not perfect. I know many illegal drugs should be legal and I know that people outside of the western world smuggle in or transmit these things that damage our society, but that doesn't invalidate our struggle. We cannot live in a lawless society and though I think that it is better to cut the root causes of things like drug abuse, we still need to keep dangerous drugs to a minimum.
If this were the actually the case and people with those skills weren't malicious and were dissuaded by the law then the only way to obtain those substances would be to manufacture them yourself. As it stands you can find sellers on Instagram so that's clearly wrong.
It's not hard to manufacture most things and people
always will find ways to do it.
Manufacturing drugs isn't difficult on the order of refining uranium or something, but it's not trivial. You need knowledge, gear, raw materials that are not all trivial to obtain, and a location where you pull off some kind of small-scale chemical manufacturing operation without getting caught.
If we want to use legislation to help people then we should
do that but using violence and prisons probably isn't
Suppliers and manufacturers of deadly drugs are another story.
The whole "XYZ material shouldn't exist in the world" thing
seems so naive.
Recreational drugs run the gamut from nearly harmless (marijuana, etc) to absolutely deadly (heroin, fentanyl, etc). In a just and logical world, they would never even be a part of the same discussion.
At the deadly end of the spectrum, yes, I certainly do feel confident in saying that some drugs have absolutely no place in society. I have seen what they do. I have been to the funerals for friends, loved ones, and family members. There is no safe way to use heroin. Drugs like meth, heroin, and crack destroy lives and towns.
It is the laziest and most naive possible libertarian dream to think that people should be allowed to supply deadlier drugs to people because of one's lasses-faire fever dreams. It's the kind of isolated, privileged fantasy that evaporates quickly when you have to identify your son in a morgue.
Shake and bake meth is hardly uncommon.
Decriminalization of all drugs does seem to be something being taken very seriously. Reduces abuse, harm, and violent crime.
Jesus this mentality is so stuck in the stone age and what enables the vile & pernicious war on drugs to continue.
Superstitious puritanical attitudes like that are why the site existed in the firstplace.
So, I have zero sympathy for him. Life is an appropriate sentence. Other DNM owners who don't try to kill people, on the other hand, I definitely tend to sympathize with (though if they allow sale of fentanyl or poisons/weapons, that complicates things).
Victimless crime in general is miscarriage of justice, imho.
Still waiting for the movie to be made with Ross’ doppelgänger Robert Patterson playing him.
So they brought the hammer down hard. He did get slapped with attempted murder for trying to hire a hitman online, as well. But doubtless his sentence reflected how incompetent it made the feds look.
It includes references to the murder for hire allegations as justification for the sentence.
> ULBRICHT also demonstrated a willingness to use violence to protect his criminal enterprise and the anonymity of its users, soliciting six murders-for-hire in connection with operating the site, although there is no evidence that these murders were actually carried out.
> Accordingly, there is no basis for Ulbricht’s objection to the PSR’s inclusion of a Guidelines enhancement under U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1(b)(2), which applies “[i]f the defendant used violence, made a credible threat to use violence, or directed the use of violence.” (Def.’s Ltr. dated May 22, 2015, at 80). As its plain terms make clear, the enhancement does not require that violence actually occur, but only that violence be credibly intended. See United States v. Harris, 578 Fed. Appx. 451, 453-54 (5th Cir. 2014) (affirming application of enhancement even though “there was no actual drug stash” that defendant intended to rob, explaining: “the enhancement's view that higher sentences are warranted for those with a propensity for violence—even if just reflected in a threat and not an actual act of violence—is implicated even when the threat occurs in connection with a sting”). Moreover, contrary to Ulbricht’s argument that the murder-for-hire solicitations constitute uncharged conduct that cannot be factored into his base offense level, the solicitations were specifically charged as an overt act of the alleged narcotics conspiracy. See Indictment S1 14 Cr. 68 (KBF)¶¶ 16.b & 16.c. Moreover, all relevant conduct, whether charged or uncharged, must be considered in calculating Ulbricht’s base offense level in any event. See U.S.S.G. § 1B1.3(a). Notably, Ulbricht does not challenge any other aspect of the Guidelines calculation in the PSR. The Government agrees with the calculation in its entirety.
Holy crap, the way you read these threads you would think drug dealers are totally harmless and being wrongfully punished for victimless crimes but this dude showed he was totally willing to commit murder.
But yeah, a bit over the top.
That's a gross overstatement. An agent who had infiltrated the site convinced him to agree to allow the agent to hire a hitman to kill another person on the site. This was after agents had already kidnapped and tortured the second person and used his account to threaten dpr. There was no attempt at conviction on that charge.
Not to mention the Baltimore Task Force threatened to punish Green for stealing bitcoin from some admin access when it was in fact the corrupt federal agents who did it.
these are problems
Gonna need to see some evidence there. Some real evidence, not the ludicrous logs that Carl Force claimed to have created from chats with him.
"Federal Bureau of Prisons director Norman Carlson argued for the creation of a new type of facility where the most dangerous, uncontrollable inmates could be isolated from correction officers and other prisoners for security and safety.
Under his guidance, Marion Penitentiary was operated in "permanent lockdown" for the next two decades. It became a model for the design of ADX as a control unit prison. Carlson said that such a prison would hold criminals desperate enough to murder corrections officers or other inmates in the hopes of being sentenced to death.
He argued that as draconian as these measures were, they were the only way to deal with inmates who have "absolutely no concern for human life.""
That being said I also think that the life sentencing was probably appropriate considering he started the silk road as a fully grown man, so it's a clear reflection of his morals and empathy. It's difficult to think about how many addictions, overdoses, and so forth that he helped to enable, in addition to assaults and murders (silk road sold weapons and services). Not saying that it wouldn't have happened without him, but certainly enabling these things to be trafficked does not provide net positive to the world.
The argument for online drug marketplaces, as I understand it, is that it reduces violence since there is no longer a physical 'turf war' component. So, if people were going to buy drugs anyway, this offers a safe, nonviolent space in which to do it. It avoids an environment where dealers are shooting each other and innocent bystanders.
With regards to violence, just because Russ was silly enough to think that you could hire a real hitman over the internet doesn't mean that it's a real thing that happens.
Again, I'm not disagreeing with you. I just want to fling some spaghetti and see what sticks.
I guess there probably aren't too many statistics about the users of Silk Road though - so I'm not sure I can back up that claim. :)
Yes, it does, because the alternative is the moronic drug war strategy that's been followed for the last 50 years.
It's more of a sad state of American prisons where crimes like this are common and seemingly unstoppable in US prisons.
"In 2001, Human Rights Watch estimated that at least 4.3 million inmates had been raped while incarcerated in the United States."
I believe the purpose of prison should be to rehabilitate people, and put them on track to become contributing members of society.
This statement shows a viewpoint that prison sentences should be given as a way to separate bad people from the rest of society.
All humans are capable of growth and change. It’s better for society as a whole if we can enable this growth and then allow them to return to society as full contributing members. The attitude of prison being a punishment or a deterrent is a root cause of a lot of problems in our criminal justice system, such as very long punishments, poor prison conditions, and a lack of rehabilitation programs.
It really, really seems like a long time coming, and now a lot of guys/gals who made some bad choices in their life, for the first time have a clear path to building a better life for themselves.
In the coming years, as California's forestry management changes to include more aggressive management and controlled burns, these guys will be the backbone of keeping thousands and thousands of people as well as their homes safe.
No, they aren't, and people die every day due to government's tolerance of such elements.
(Not saying this is the case with the DPR case)
You really wanna go there? Seriously?
Nobody forces you to use drugs. It doesn't even harm anyone else directly. He didn't even sell drugs directly, he offered a marketplace for others to sell drug on. What about pawn shops? Should we lock em all up in super max prisons for providing weapons to people? I mean here the intent is at least directly to harm people other than the client, while with drugs its just to harm clients.
Net positive... LOL Name a single politican that does provide a net positive to the world. How about Trump? What about locking him up? Did he provide a net positive to the world? He has a list of crimes that could wrap buildings in documents, however he is president of the US, which somehow manages to kill more people in a year than this guy could have killed indirectly in a life-time. But hey, yeah lock em up!
> so it's a clear reflection of his morals and empathy.
Oh is it? So what now? We lock up everything who doesn't have your high moral standards in a federal super max? Oh wait, your morals seem a bit off actually. I think you are kindof insane. How about locking you up? Do you provide a net positive to the world? Probably not. Wait, let me just call 911 so they can lock you away for life.
Your comment reads like you care what random strangers say on the internet. You shouldn't.
Despite the fact that you are right, others will not agree with you, and in fact may not even give a shit about the issue at all. They're humans, and every human is different. That's why we're so damn interesting.
The more you emotionally invest in what these people have to say, the more you will be dragged down into the abyss by them. Remember, that's not their abyss, that's your abyss. You created it by being so bothered by them.
This is my take on it, and if you have a different opinion, dude feel free to share I'm happy to hear! You have to approach everything on the internet as if it were an LSAT question you have to argue from an opposing viewpoint to pass the test. Make the best argument you possibly can, but don't be emotionally invested in it!
Again, I'm on your side. But I want you to hang around for the revolution, instead of having a heart-attack before we storm the gated communities.
I said we should shut down Florence.
> Net positive... LOL Name a single politican that does provide a net positive to the world. How about Trump?
I have no idea why you have such an overpowering desire to inject your fascination with Trump into this discussion.
> Oh is it? So what now? We lock up everything who doesn't have your high moral standards in a federal super max?
This is the second time you seem to have misread my post. I said we should shut down Florence.
This is a moralistic version of privatize the gains and socialize the losses.
Im not even a big law and order guy, but the "go easy, boys will be boys" take seems baseless.
Is this guy going to stab a CO because they disrespected him?
One of the corrupt agents involved, Carl Force, gets out of prison in a couple of weeks. The other corrupt agent, Shaun Bridges, gets out in a year. I find the corruption angle to be most intriguing. Maybe more were not caught.
Part of the reason why is because those charges most likely would not have actually resulted in conviction because it was blatantly entrapment on the face and the veracity of those claims is dubious given that all of that evidence is coming from Carl Mark Force IV, the same agent who is now convicted himself for his corruption in that investigation and stealing a fortune from the Silk Road and just pocketing it.
I realize it may seem like an entrapment defence wouldn't apply here but keep in mind, even for the government's alleged chain of events, the government absolutely induced the crime, they stole the money, they came along with the "solution", etc. Then there's the matter of if DPR was predisposed to commit the crime. He certainly had a predisposition to commit crime, but definitely not murder-for-hire in particular. Even in the conversation with Carl Mark Force IV, he did not want to kill him and explicitly stated so, the special agent convinced him that killing him was his only option, the guy knew names and had sensitive information, etc. Even after he got caught and the government seized his laptop with his encrypted drive mounted and got the keys to the kingdom they didn't find any other instance of anything like the alleged murder-for-hire plot. The government inducing the crime and the defendants lack of a predisposition for that specific crime are the two elements to an entrapment defense in federal court.
Because he wasn't actually charged with the crime he didn't get to mount any kind of defense against those allegations and the prosecutors just hid all of the corrupt B.S. involving Carl Mark Force IV and Shaun Bridges. I think Ross is guilty as sin of running the Silk Road but that trial was a huge miscarriage of justice and in an ideal world, a bunch of those prosecutors and law enforcement agents would be sitting in prison right beside him. Alas, only two of them are. I really feel like the Supreme Court should have overturned his sentence based off of not receiving due process for the murder-for-hire allegations yet being sentenced substantially worse based off of it.
Things like his posts on theshroomery.org where he leaked his gmail address with his real name. When they intercepted his fake IDs and he tells the agents "Anyone could hypothetically order these from the website Silk Road".