Ross Ulbricht, 29, was arrested in San Francisco (perhaps on the 27th of September?); he was a resident of Austin, Texas; and Preet Bharara is alleging that Ross – otherwise known as Dread Pirate Roberts – is head of Silk Road. Interestingly, Bharara is a federal prosecutor in Manhattan, so appears (by first tweet accounts anyway) to be taking charge of this.
- Here is the federal criminal complaint sheet.
- $3.6 MILLION WORTH OF BITCOIN HAS ALSO BEEN SEIZED; that’s 26,000 coins
- Feds allege he ordered a hit for 1670 bitcoin; but as transaction not concluded, not charged
Breaking Bitcoin news: Federal prosecutors have arrested Ross Ulbricht, 29, the head of mysterious Silk Road online marketplace.
— Peter Lattman (@peterlattman) October 2, 2013
And here is image of the Silk Road now:
And here is a photo of Ross Ulbricht from Austin, Texas and, according to the complaint, he had ordered 9 fake IDs . . . delivered to his home address (not the brightest guy).
It appears that Ulbricht had an online social media profile replete with humble brags and interests which could have associated him with his site; also, in total, 9.5 million bitcoins were exchanged on the site:
Agents attempting to track the Silk Road founder looked back into early promotion of the site, looking at messages posted on drug discussion forums and WordPress blogs by a user named “altoid”. Agents tracked this name to a Gmail address, which they then claim was registered to Ulbricht.
FBI agents then began surveillance of Ulbricht, who they say was living in San Francisco under an assumed name, attempting to match his internet activity with the posting times of Dread Pirate Roberts. Agents also intercepted fake IDs being posted to the address at which Ulbricht was staying.
The moral of the story is that NOTHING is anonymous online. Chances are that either you, or your associates, will inevitably leave a footprint. I’m sure there are only a very few guys (and women) who can truly operate anonymously. But, if you’re not certain you can surf truly anonymously and ever used the Silk Road for illicit purchases, assume this guy is going to squeal or has squealed in the days since he’s been in custody. Appearances can be deceptive, but he doesn’t strike me as the sort that would stay quiet.
FBI Says Silk Road Operator Made 'Simple Mistake' That Lead to His Identification http://t.co/qziq94Y5lN
— Robert Wenzel (@WenzelEconomics) October 2, 2013