A U.S. man who allegedly targeted a White Rock family man in a murder-for-hire has been sentenced to life in prison for masterminding an online black market for illicit goods and services.
According to a news release from the New York Field Office of the FBI, however, murder-for-hire was not among the charges that Ross William Ulbricht was sentenced on last Friday.
The now 31-year-old was arrested in San Francisco in October 2013 in connection with the Silk Road website and the online moniker ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’.
He was convicted this past February on seven charges: distributing narcotics, distributing narcotics by means of the Internet, conspiring to distribute narcotics, engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, conspiring to commit computer hacking, conspiring to traffic in false identity documents and conspiring to commit money laundering.
“Through his ownership and operation of Silk Road, Ulbricht reaped commissions worth more than $13 million generated from the illicit sales conducted through the site,” the FBI news release states. “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.”
Peace Arch News first reported on the issue following Ulbricht’s arrest, when international headlines included reports that he had tried to hire someone to kill a White Rock site user who had threatened to reveal the identities of thousands of other users unless he was paid $500,000.
White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Lesli Roseberry said at the time that local police were not contacted by the FBI regarding such an investigation.
As well, while the execution was reportedly confirmed to the accused, White Rock at the time had been murder-free for years.
In court, Ulbricht’s operation was, however, linked to six overdose deaths.
He learned his penalty May 29 in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
In addition to the life sentence, Ulbricht was ordered to forfeit more than $183 million.