Silk Road Trial Concludes: Ross Ulbricht Guilty On All Counts

February 4, 2015 | Peter Yeh

A jury has found Ross Ulbricht guilty on all charges for running deep web darknet drug marketplace Silk Road. Despite the defense’s stirring closing remarks that defunct Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox’s CEO Mark Karpeles did French hacker wizardry and framed Ulbricht, after deliberating for 3-and-a-half hours on Wednesday the jury found him guilty on all 7 counts. That includes the mandatory minimums for trafficking narcotics, which means the 29-year-old is facing at least 30 years; he’ll spend slightly longer in prison than he has been alive so far.

Ulbricht’s 4 week trial, which began on Jan 13 in New York, was for running Silk Road, aiding and abetting the trafficking of illegal narcotics, selling fake identity documents, computer hacking, and money laundering. He made a comically large number of easily avoidable mistakes that got him caught.

Ulbricht faces a separate case in Maryland for trying to hire hitmen to murder several of his vendors and blackmailers. This is the highest profile darknet trial because of the high visibility of Silk Road — its coverage in Gawker and salacious interviews with other outlets made it THE darknet market. There are now Silk Roads 2-5 and maybe one with Taylor Swift coming as well.

Now will come the fun part of appeals, and Ulbricht’s second trial in Maryland for trying to solicit murder.