An alleged online drug kingpin is behind bars. For two years, the F.B.I. tracked the elusive founder of Silk Road, an internet site that peddled heroin, ecstasy and every type of prescription medication. The manhunt ended with the arrest of a 29-year-old Texan Ross Ulbricht. Using an alias from "the princess bride". Court documents show he's accused of operating the website "silk road" which allowed users to anonymously buy and sell drugs and illegal services. James Johnson has more, James.
Prosecutors describe Ulbricht as a criminal mastermind who built an illegal drug empire they estimate made 1.2 billion in sales over the last three years, earning him 80 million dollars. Silk road was the drug world's equivalent to ebay, acting as a matchmaker between dealers and buyers worldwide.
Silk road, it's an internet site used to sell illegal drugs like heroin, ecstasy and other drugs. After a two year investigation by the F.B.I. Federal agents would unmask the mastermind and owner behind the site, 29-year-old Texan Ross Ulbricht. Ulbricht attended the university of Texas Dallas where he studied physics.
[cg:newsuper\ned kock, ph.d.\t.a.m.i.u. Professor] 42:52:22 "silk road is a site that is used to commercialize typically, most of what goes on there is illegal. Commercialize illegal drugs that their main item, but they can also commercialize legal items as well. 44:52:16 "so it has a number of possible good uses but it can be used for crime and that what seems to have happened with Silk Road.
Not accessible by a public or normal web browser like Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Google Chrome; this site operates in what is called the deep web. In order to visit a marketplace like Silk Road you have to download special software called TOR. This browser uses particular communication protocol, which is like a different language among computers.
[cg:newsuper\ned kock ph.d.\t.a.m.i.u. Professor] 44:07:09 "TOR was developed by the u.s. Government 44:20:15 "TOR can be used for a number of good things for example it allows interaction anonymously on the internet.
The fact that sites like silk road allows people to buy and sell goods anonymously is why it's so hard to catch these criminals. Most of the transactions are done with a currency called bit coin. Like cash it leaves no records of purchases making transactions virtually untraceable.
Ulbricht has a detention hearing scheduled for Friday and the feds have 30 days to produce an indictment against him.
A grand jury will decide whether to indict, and assuming it does, Ulbricht will likely be headed to New York, where the main case originates for his arraignment. For KGNS, I’m James Johnson.