The suspected operator of the underground website Silk Road was convicted on Wednesday on narcotics and other criminal charges for his role in orchestrating a scheme that enabled around $200 million of anonymous online drug sales using bitcoins. Ross Ulbricht, 30, was convicted on all seven counts he faced by a federal jury in Manhattan, following a closely-watched trial that spilled out of U.S. investigations into the use of the digital currency bitcoin for drug trafficking and other crimes.
After less than a day of deliberations, the jury of six men and six women found Ulbricht guilty of charges including drug trafficking, and conspiracies to commit money laundering and computer hacking. Ulbricht faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced May 15.
"Ulbricht's arrest and conviction — and our seizure of millions of dollars of Silk Road bitcoins — should send a clear message to anyone else attempting to operate an online criminal enterprise," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. "The supposed anonymity of the dark Web is not a protective shield from arrest and prosecution."
- Why the Silk Road Trial Should Matter to Non-Criminals