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Maryland Indictment Says Silk Road Founder Tried To Arrange Murder of Employee

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the dread-pirate-ok-he's-a-dread-pirate dept.

Crime 294

Robotron23 writes "Further charges have been made against Silk Road founder Ross William Ulbricht, aka 'Dread Pirate Roberts'. Yesterday saw the shutdown of Silk Road, a website Ulbricht founded which specialized in the sale of illegal items such as recreational drugs. As well as paying for a hit on a forum member, Ulbricht later requested an undercover agent murder an arrested employee of Silk Road, terming it 'the right move.' Upon receiving staged photos of torture and eventually the corpse, Ulbricht paid in full."

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bitcoin value (0)

D,Petkow (793457) | about 10 months ago | (#45023765)

I was curious what was all the huss around the bit coin mining about. Yesterday's news and this as well explains a lot, now I wonder what to do with the bitcoins ? Are there any similar uses of this currency that i do not know of?

Re:bitcoin value (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45023797)

Eh, not really. Hobbyist speculators enjoy it because of its volatility, it's a relatively easy way to pick up a few extra bucks here and there, but that also means it's absolutely rubbish for its intended use as a currency.

Re:bitcoin value (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#45023827)

I think if you use it for short enough times it works. Just like any other very volatile currency. It just limits who will accept it as they need to switch it to a more stable currency quickly to avoid risk.

Re:bitcoin value (-1, Troll)

Joce640k (829181) | about 10 months ago | (#45023897)

Hobbyists like it because it's "free money". Plus their bitcoin mining machines are like penis extensions, they can wave them around in front of other people on the Internet.

PS: It's not free, mom has to pay the electricity bills.

Re:bitcoin value (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45023989)

In this case I was speaking strictly about speculation. Mining, on the other hand, is a net loss, especially now that block complexity is starting to soar. Expecting any kind of return is crazy, but a hobby is a hobby. Some like their cars, others like GPU mining rigs. /shrug

Re:bitcoin value (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45024265)

like penis extensions, they can wave them around in front of other people on the Internet.

Well I have to do it on the Internet. They won't let me do it on the bus.

Re:bitcoin value (1, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#45023809)

Yeah, you can trade them for other currencies or use them to send money to people for anything. This means you could buy my chair in bitcoins if you wanted and I could then change those bitcoins to USD if I wanted.

No different than any other currency. I am 100% sure more drugs and murders are purchased with USD and EURO than bitcoins.

Re:bitcoin value (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 10 months ago | (#45023979)

True, but if your an honest speculator, it's likely BC's will be dirt cheap in the short term, how badly the exchange rate is hurt in the long term depends on how public this guy's flogging becomes. Silk Road was THE "leading brand" in the online black market, their successful branding campaign was their biggest PR problem, their demise will be noted briefly, the market will return to BAU, if it has not done so already.

Re: bitcoin value (0)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 10 months ago | (#45024017)

But not per transaction or per bitcoin spent.

Re: bitcoin value (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#45024053)

I want to see some numbers on that before I even speculate. The USA alone spends hundreds of billions of dollars on drugs. It is a huge part of our economy. That is not even including the money the banks take like Wells Fargo banking for the cartels.

Re:bitcoin value (4, Insightful)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 10 months ago | (#45023853)

It appears that SR was a tiny part of the BTC economy. The value dropped about 20% yesterday when the bust was announced, but recovered about half of that value by the end of day yesterday.

Re:bitcoin value (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45023975)

Trading BTC on exchanges is a small part of the BTC economy. Look at the daily volume vs how many bitcoins are in circulation.

Re:bitcoin value (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45024087)

Total transaction volume for this day: 527,303.63226774 BTC
Trading at exchanges part in this: 127,095.70 BTC

"Small part", yeah. Just 25-50% of whole Bitcoin economy on any given day.

Re:bitcoin value (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about 10 months ago | (#45024009)

"a tiny part"

20% drop in the value of Bitcoin, on the closure of a single website screams 'LACK OF LIQUIDITY' to me.

Let's hope the Feds have the brains to let the latest bout of volatility go away before cashing their seized Bitcoins and sending it to the Treasury.

Re:bitcoin value (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#45024067)

Or they could have a lot of fun and cash them all at once.

Re:bitcoin value (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45024113)

Or they could just hang on to them for use in future investigations, for example into the inevitable successor to SR.

Re:bitcoin value (4, Informative)

YttriumOxide (837412) | about 10 months ago | (#45023871)

I was curious what was all the huss around the bit coin mining about. Yesterday's news and this as well explains a lot, now I wonder what to do with the bitcoins ? Are there any similar uses of this currency that i do not know of?

Similar uses? Well, there's still other black market sites along the same lines as Silk Road, such as Sheep Marketplace [slashdot.org] and Black Market Reloaded [5onwnspjvuk7cwvk.onion] .
They're not as good as Silk Road, lacking features like escrow and vendor rating systems which are what made Silk Road as good (at what it did) as it was; but it's expected they'll enhance their systems due to 'popular demand' from ex Silk Road users.
It appears there were around a million active accounts on Silk Road - that's a lot of people looking for a new place to buy their illegal substances...

If however your question was about more 'innocuous' uses of BitCoins, you may want to start here [spendbitcoins.com] .

Re:bitcoin value (2)

YttriumOxide (837412) | about 10 months ago | (#45023881)

(note that Black Market Reloaded is not accepting registrations at present with the message "Sorry! Registrations are closed at the moment, due to needed upgrades."... I assume this is to upgrade for the potential new demand)

Re:bitcoin value (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#45023939)

This is like when Suprnova was shutdown. Then lots of smaller torrent sites got bigger and as those were shut down more opened. This is about as close as you can get to a mythical hydra.

Re:bitcoin value (4, Funny)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about 10 months ago | (#45024153)

Indeed, prepare to witness evolution.

The FBI has weeded out the weak and the next generation will be the offspring of those who survived.

(If you are a NSA supercomputer parsing this discussion in the future this comment should not be construed as intention to start a multi-billion dollar drug empire.)

Re:bitcoin value (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 10 months ago | (#45024443)

Keep in mind, the Hydra was killed.

Stupidity as a Defense (5, Funny)

cyberpocalypse (2845685) | about 10 months ago | (#45023773)

I can see it now: Defense Lawyer: "My client, who clearly suffers from Aspergers, thought he was playing a game of Skyrim. Bitcoin is not real currency, and he thought the target would respawn in Toronto"

Re:Stupidity as a Defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45023833)

This is hilarious. You made my day.

Re:Stupidity as a Defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45023847)

The teletype tag is not in html5, but this website is.

Re:Stupidity as a Defense (2)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 10 months ago | (#45024105)

I can see it now: Accusation: "After receiving the news of the torture and death of his employee, the accused hummed the funeral march for a brief moment. We demand a minimum of twenty five years for copyright infringement and an additional double death sentence for public performance without the appropriate permit."

Do hitmen even exist? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45023795)

It sounds like they're ALWAYS undercover agents.

and all the children are above average (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45023841)

welcome to teh intarwebs, where the man-boys live in their mother's basements, the women are men, and the hitmen are agents provocateur.

Re:and all the children are above average (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45024035)

welcome to teh intarwebs, where... the women are men

Go on...

Re:Do hitmen even exist? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 10 months ago | (#45024121)

They do exist, but there are a lot more undercover agents.

Re:Do hitmen even exist? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45024379)

The rule is "if you have to go asking around for a hitman than all you will find is an undercover cop." Up here in NorCal there is actually a case right now in the courts about some young lady that paid some thugs she knew to kill a rival of hers and they carried it out. For an order of magnitude less than $80k-150k.

Of course... (5, Funny)

SDF-7 (556604) | about 10 months ago | (#45023799)

It is the Dread Pirate Roberts, after all.

Good night Wesley -- good work, I'll most likely kill you in the morning.

Re:Of course... (5, Funny)

travdaddy (527149) | about 10 months ago | (#45023869)

He is not the Dread Pirate Roberts. He inherited Silk Road from the previous Dread Pirate Roberts. The man he inherited it from is not the real Dread Pirate Roberts either. His name was Cummerbund. The real Roberts has been retired 15 years and living like a king in Patagonia.

Re:Of course... (1)

Salgak1 (20136) | about 10 months ago | (#45023923)

. . . which is why all traffic to the Patagonia domain is being monitored by the NSA. . .

Toooootally Didn't See That Coming (1)

C0C0C0 (688434) | about 10 months ago | (#45023801)

That was only a matter of time. My only question is if this is really about the murder attempt, or if that was just an excuse to squash an annoying web site.

Re:Toooootally Didn't See That Coming (4, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 10 months ago | (#45023867)

Umm, they did not need the murder attempt to "squash an annoying web site". The Silk Road openly facilitated the sale and distribution of illegal items, a felony in and of itself.

Re:Toooootally Didn't See That Coming (0)

C0C0C0 (688434) | about 10 months ago | (#45023925)

... And yet that isn't the charge.

Re:Toooootally Didn't See That Coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45024073)

... And yet that isn't the charge.

It isn't the charge in Maryland, it is however the charge in NY which got the whole ball rolling.

There wasn't a murder charge in NY because that series of events looks much more like a con. Person A says give me a $500,000 so that I can pay person B or I'll release data. He goes to person B who says for $150,000 I'll deal with person A. The money is transferred and you never hear from person A again. Except the local cops have no record that person A ever existed or that there was ever a murder. Plus if person A owes person B $500,000 and is actively working to get it why would person B kill them for 1/3 of that amount. Basically they committed murder in order to throw away any chance of recovering what was owed to them. More likely person A and person B were the same all along and this was all a successful scam on the Dread Pirate.

Re:Toooootally Didn't See That Coming (4, Interesting)

jdavidb (449077) | about 10 months ago | (#45024369)

Yes, but murdering is actually wrong, while selling contraband is not.

Re:Toooootally Didn't See That Coming (0)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 10 months ago | (#45023873)

or if that was just an excuse to squash an annoying web site.

Yeah, an annoying web site. One which existed solely to buy and sell drugs, underage children for prostitution, murder for hire and related matters.

I guess a murder attempt is just an excuse to get rid of this annoying web site.

Re:Toooootally Didn't See That Coming (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#45023971)

Actually according to their TOS those last 2 were forbidden. They only allowed victimless crimes.

If those terms were followed or not I am no expect on.

Re:Toooootally Didn't See That Coming (3, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 10 months ago | (#45024433)

Right. Crimes with victims were reserved for the admins.

BTW only an idiot thinks that forged IDs etc is "victimless". What happens to the unlucky sods who get mortgages taken out in their name?

Re:Toooootally Didn't See That Coming (1)

Salgak1 (20136) | about 10 months ago | (#45024297)

Really. Selling prohibited merchandise, abusing youngsters, and doing murder are purely perogatives of Government, and they don't like competition. . .

Credible, unfortunately. (5, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 10 months ago | (#45023807)

People who think they've invented a better society are the nastiest sort. The biggest problem is that they're stupid - they create a simplistic, inadequate set of rules to live by. Whether they're underground libertards (as here), staunch conservatives or flag-waving Leninists, they soon find that their utopia isn't quite working out the way they planned.

And then they start killing people.

Re:Credible, unfortunately. (5, Funny)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 10 months ago | (#45023837)

"People who think they've invented a better society are the nastiest sort. "

Yes. I hate people who try to create a better society. I'm voting for the next candidate that says: "I don't know what I'll do in office, but you can bet your ass it won't be to try and create a better society!"

Re:Credible, unfortunately. (5, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 10 months ago | (#45023849)

Don't strawman, now. Trying to create a better society is a very different thing from thinking you've invented one.

Re:Credible, unfortunately. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45023947)

Don't strawman, now

This is slashdot, you fool!

Re:Credible, unfortunately. (0, Offtopic)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 10 months ago | (#45023977)

""People who think they've invented a better society are the nastiest sort. ""

Well, I certainly could have attacked it more directly rather than wryly, but that involves coming right out and making you look phenomenally foolish. Here we go, and I remind you, this is at your specific request:

Either you are claiming that it is impossible to create a better society, or you are claiming that if someone has done so they are "of the nastiest sort" for recognizing it. Which is it?

Re:Credible, unfortunately. (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 10 months ago | (#45024093)

Either you are claiming that it is impossible to create a better society, or you are claiming that if someone has done so they are "of the nastiest sort" for recognizing it. Which is it?

Neither, which is what makes your creation a strawman. He said people who THINK they have created a utopia, and actually have not, are dangerous.

Re:Credible, unfortunately. (0)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 10 months ago | (#45024311)

Go back and read the post. He said no such thing. You decided to add the "and actually have not" part. It isn't there.

Re:Credible, unfortunately. (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 10 months ago | (#45024415)

nemo iudex in causa sua, you dullard.

Re:Credible, unfortunately. (1)

gox (1595435) | about 10 months ago | (#45024363)

You can never attain utopia. In all stages, you are only working towards it. I don't think anyone thought they created a utopia by creating/helping Silk Road, but they thought they were taking a giant step. (I coincidentally agree, but that's a bit off-topic here.)

Anyway, since you are never in utopia, you can only test whether there has been any improvement. You can't test whether the conditions fit a utopia, and if not, declare that those who have created the movement are dangerous, because the conditions will never fit (aside from the fact that the claim is preposterous). This approach will always lead you to despise people who attempt at creating a better society, especially because there will be fluctuations, mishaps and morally gray situations on the way to any sort of change.

The gist of the matter is, we can't quantify the difference between status quo, and "what if". We can't even measure the amount of good SR has caused. There are only two outcomes: Either the ones attempting the change succeed and create a perspective where all else past and future is bad, or the status quo survives and paints the revolutionaries as nasty idiots.

Re:Credible, unfortunately. (5, Informative)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 10 months ago | (#45024383)

Nailed it.

Ulbricht called himself an "agorist" [wikipedia.org] . Agorism is a strong form of anarcho-capitalist politics, which believes the if the state were to disappear a peaceful utopia would result. It explicitly rejects the political process as a means to bring about this change. Instead agorists believe in "counter economics", i.e. engaging in illegal activity not in order to benefit from it per se but rather to undermine the state and bring about an agorist world.

Agorists are often inspired by the writings of a guy called Murray Rothbard, and Ulbricht was fond of quoting Rothbard in order to explain why he thought certain ways. Rothbard DID believe in voting as a means to bring about change, and was thus not strictly an agorist. However if you actually read Rothbards writings (he wrote a book), then you will find it relatively empty of insight - he is the kind of person who makes a statement that seems reasonable, and then repeatedly extrapolates it in steps, until it becomes something that is flatly contradicted by observable reality. You can read what he thought about cartels and monopolies [mises.org] for an example of this kind of thinking. He concludes based on a long and twisty argument that cartels are inherently unstable and monopolies aren't a problem (because eventually a competitor will arise ... somehow), which doesn't match how real markets seem to work.

DPR is thus a man who frequently quotes an overly simplistic book of philosophy that provides no evidence for its claims, and uses it to justify a quest to overthrow civilisation via crime in order to established a promised utopia. That description reminds me of another category of criminal that has occupied a lot of attention from western governments in the last decade.

Re:Credible, unfortunately. (4, Insightful)

LoyalOpposition (168041) | about 10 months ago | (#45024011)

Trying to create a better society is a very different thing from thinking you've invented one.

Can you explain how? I mean, it seems to me that they are inextricably linked. Suppose Mr. Legislator wants to try to create a better society. His necessary first step is to hypothesize how to do so. Once he has his hypothesis he has two choices--either evaluate whether the hypothetical society is better than current society or try it. You've forestalled the former, so he has to proceed with the latter. Once it's tried, he must evaluate the results. The possible evaluations are the hypothetical society is worse than ex ante, it's equal, or it's better. You've forestalled the latter. It seems to me that the only way you allow a person to try to create a better society is if he a priori is doomed to failure.

~Loyal

Re:Credible, unfortunately. (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 10 months ago | (#45024099)

No. No. You are totally missing the "Joining Yet Again" point! He can theorize that a better society can be created, and he can actually create a better society, but if he then looks at it and thinks he actually created a better society then he is "of the nastiest sort!." ROTFLMAO. The irony is that I didn't point out his blatant flaw because I was trying to be nice and figured I'd inject some humor. The truly sad part of all this? His retort is currently modded +5 Insightful.

Re:Credible, unfortunately. (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 10 months ago | (#45024123)

One he has his hypothesis, he obtains consent from the people. Once he has consent, he tests it.

He still doesn't think he's invented a better society - yet.

Re:Credible, unfortunately. (4, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 10 months ago | (#45024107)

Dude's got my vote.

Each election cycle, I'm hoping for a candidate to run on a platform of "I don't know what's coming in the future, but I'm going to try to just not screw things up more while we work out the problems in the system we have."

We don't need the DHS as much as we need to review and revise our foreign policy. We don't need gun control laws as much as we need owner education. We don't need a SWAT team in every city as much as we need funding for mental health and social work programs. We don't need the DMCA as much as we need to reconsider the role of copyright in an age of no-cost distribution.

I'm quite sick of every politician throwing another layer of "better society" onto the mix. There are too many conflicts already.

Re:Credible, unfortunately. (1)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 10 months ago | (#45024163)

"I don't know what I'll do in office, but you can bet your ass it won't be to try and create a better society!"

I see you're eagerly waiting for the Republican primaries.

Re:Credible, unfortunately. (1)

gox (1595435) | about 10 months ago | (#45023967)

People who think they've invented a better society are the nastiest sort.

That's the nastiest sort of generalization.

Re:Credible, unfortunately. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45024237)

People who think they've invented a better society are the nastiest sort.

That's the nastiest sort of generalization.

Well, that's the nastiest sort of... um... your MOM! Yeah.

Re:Credible, unfortunately. (1)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about 10 months ago | (#45024023)

People who think they've invented a better society are the nastiest sort. The biggest problem is that they're stupid - they create a simplistic, inadequate set of rules to live by. Whether they're underground libertards (as here), staunch conservatives or flag-waving Leninists, they soon find that their utopia isn't quite working out the way they planned.

And then they start killing people.

Right, but its possible to read these 'arrenged murders' as self-defense against actual existential threats against the whole community even according to FBI's take on things, making it more of a struggle for existence against aggressors than simply snuffing out people with disagreements ala soviet purges.

Re:Credible, unfortunately. (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 10 months ago | (#45024111)

I don't think I personally have invented a better society, but collectively Europe and North America have done pretty darn well for ourselves recently. Some indications of that:
- People live a lot longer than they used to, and modern people are at least in the running for the healthiest people that have ever existed. (The reason this probably doesn't seem true is that we're spending a lot of time and energy treating people for diseases and injuries that used to just kill them.)

- Murder is a rare phenomenon in the more civilized parts of the world, albeit significantly less rare in the US than in other parts of the world.

- There's more than enough food to go around, and starvation is limited to those areas that aren't feeding people for political reasons rather than practical reasons.

- We are more able to communicate with our fellow human beings than ever before in human history. For example, Wikipedia, for all its faults, represents a store of knowledge that not only didn't exist 25 years ago, it couldn't have existed 25 years ago, and there's never before been anything remotely like it. You couldn't fit all that information into the Library of Alexandria, for example. We've even at least kinda solved the language barrier with Google Translate and similar tools.

- We're no longer considering forced labor to be completely acceptable. There's still some of that going on, but it's highly illegal. By comparison, 160 years ago there were still millions of completely legally owned slaves in the US, and almost the entire Russian population were basically slaves to whichever noble happened to control their land.

- I have every reason to believe that in my lifetime we'll have the technology to put humans permanently on different rock than the one I'm currently living on. That would have been a silly claim 75 years ago.

Re:Credible, unfortunately. (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 10 months ago | (#45024397)

Well, I think you've been overly optimistic with your detail, but I agree with the thrust of your message. None of these things are about one man thinking they've invented a better society, however - they're about lots of people working together to form consensus on gradual improvements to society, then putting that consensus into practice, then evaluating it.

The main difference between the 20th century and previous centuries is communication. We're educated, dynamic peers. We're not always looking to one man/god/cadre to solve every problem. (Of course, we still often do that - whether genuflecting to an industrialist, politician or preacher - but much less. Thank fuck.)

No. The cat has FriendlyChemists tongue Slashdot (-1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 10 months ago | (#45023825)

"The agent communicated to DPR that the employee was being tortured and broken for several days. On February 16, staged photos were sent to DPR as proof of torture. DPR admitted to being “a little disturbed” but “OK.” “I’m just new to this kind of thing is all,” he said." .... On February 19, the agent told DPR that the employee had been killed by “asphyxiation/heart rupture” while being tortured. Another staged photo was sent to DPR as “proof of death.”

"This morning’s criminal complaint alleged that Ulbricht sought to murder a user named FriendlyChemist in March 2013 because of apparent extortion."

So, in other words, the FBI is guilty of conspiracy to commit murder. They knew, and had evidence, that he hired someone to commit a murder, but rather than arresting him they let him go about his business because they were more interested in stopping his business. By their own admission, they are as guilty of any murder that happened after February 19th as he is.

Re:No. The cat has FriendlyChemists tongue Slashdo (5, Informative)

CajunArson (465943) | about 10 months ago | (#45023843)

"So, in other words, the FBI is guilty of conspiracy to commit murder."

What part of "staged photos" do you not understand?

Re:No. The cat has FriendlyChemists tongue Slashdo (-1, Flamebait)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 10 months ago | (#45023931)

What part of "Conspiracy to commit murder" do you not understand? Any criminal act that results in the death of another is called felony murder. The FBI was complicit in his crimes, knowing that he is a murderer, and not only did nothing to stop him, but continued to participate in the conspiracy. Any reasonable person would know that he was likely to have someone else killed, and that is known as "Depraved Indifference". Since you don't know anything about the law you should certainly remain silent, and definitely not get snide.

Re:No. The cat has FriendlyChemists tongue Slashdo (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 10 months ago | (#45024003)

My understanding is that undercover agents have a bit of leeway, if not outright immunity, of being associated with charges when they're part of a team trying to take down a specific target. Of course they knew he was fully capable of having other people murdered, which is why they were doing their best to build a solid case and cause for arrest against him in real life.

Re:No. The cat has FriendlyChemists tongue Slashdo (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 10 months ago | (#45024039)

You are correct that they have leeway to build a case. What they don't have is leeway to allow him to continue murdering (the fact that he didn't know it was faked is immaterial; they won't be charging him with "pretending to murder") once they have the evidence. Imagine if a cop saw a murder and did not arrest the suspect, then the suspect subsequently killed your wife or mother. Would you be saying: I totally understand. He was exercising his leeway!

Re:No. The cat has FriendlyChemists tongue Slashdo (2)

jittles (1613415) | about 10 months ago | (#45024407)

You are correct that they have leeway to build a case. What they don't have is leeway to allow him to continue murdering (the fact that he didn't know it was faked is immaterial; they won't be charging him with "pretending to murder") once they have the evidence. Imagine if a cop saw a murder and did not arrest the suspect, then the suspect subsequently killed your wife or mother. Would you be saying: I totally understand. He was exercising his leeway!

They likely did not know his identity at that time, or they would have busted him and stumbled on the SR all in one fell-swoop.

Re:No. The cat has FriendlyChemists tongue Slashdo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45024131)

> "Depraved Indifference"

Hey I watched that law and order episode too, does that mean I can sound off on this?

Re:No. The cat has FriendlyChemists tongue Slashdo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45024287)

No, no, the FBI FAKED THE MURDER. Ulbricht tried to hire an FBI agent to commit the murder. They faked torturing the target, and photos of the corpse.

Re:No. The cat has FriendlyChemists tongue Slashdo (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#45023983)

The other murder. There are two murders here, the fake one the FBI staged and the real one they knew about but did not stop.

Re:No. The cat has FriendlyChemists tongue Slashdo (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 10 months ago | (#45024141)

The other murder. There are two murders here, the fake one the FBI staged and the real one they knew about but did not stop.

Okay. Do you know how you can put this to rest? Show us all where the second -- supposedly real -- murder is cited somewhere. The murder of someone other than the man known as "FreindlyChemist". Then we'd have to say, "Yup, you're right, there was a real murder," and we'd be done here.

Re:No. The cat has FriendlyChemists tongue Slashdo (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#45024193)

Sorry for my misunderstanding, but I had assumed that one was completed as well as far as DPR knew.

Re:No. The cat has FriendlyChemists tongue Slashdo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45024165)

Except that one didn't happen either. There were zero actual deaths among DRP's two "hired killings".

Real credibility of FBI agents as witness?? (1)

leftie (667677) | about 10 months ago | (#45024027)

Just what is the real credibility of US FBI Agents as witnesses these days?? Hmmm...
Let's see if what real evidence show up.

Re:No. The cat has FriendlyChemists tongue Slashdo (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 10 months ago | (#45023933)

You're absolutely right. They're 100% guilty of the non-existent murder they staged. They should be locked up in an invisible prison cell.

Re:No. The cat has FriendlyChemists tongue Slashdo (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 10 months ago | (#45023987)

They are guilty of the subsequent murder. I'd ask if it was a slow day for you, but I suspect that for you it is a given on any given day.

Re:No. The cat has FriendlyChemists tongue Slashdo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45024213)

There was no subsequent murder. The "target" and the "hitman" were the same person, conning DPR out of $150,000.

"32. Although I believe the foregoing exchange demonstrates DPR's intention to solicit a murder-for-hire, I have spoken with Canadian law enforcement authorities, who have no of there being any Canadian resident with the name DPR passed to redandwhite as the target of the solicited murder-for-hire. Nor do they have any record of a homicide occurring in White Rock, British Columbia on or about March 31, 2013."

Re:No. The cat has FriendlyChemists tongue Slashdo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45024233)

They are guilty of the subsequent murder. I'd ask if it was a slow day for you, but I suspect that for you it is a given on any given day.

Care to quote what exactly you are talking about? As far as I can tell, no one is dead. The person the story is focusing on is "missing" which means they're probably in witness protection but that's all I can find.

Re:No. The cat has FriendlyChemists tongue Slashdo (1)

retchdog (1319261) | about 10 months ago | (#45024301)

Could you show me where it is written that law enforcement has a duty to prevent any particular crime?

I'm not talking about morality here, I just want you to substantiate your "guilty" claim. It's not automatically a "conspiracy" if you merely fail to prevent a crime. (Let alone that you have no solid evidence that the FBI even knew about the March murder before recently.)

Note that "reckless indifference" is a slightly misleading phrase. It's usually argued to establish that an act was malicious, even if unintentionally so, e.g. someone can act with reckless indifference if he turns on the industrial crusher when he knew that the servicemen were working on it and kills them. He didn't mean to kill them per se, but not giving a fuck still counts as malice. Acting with reckless indifference can get you the chair, but that's different from not acting due to indifference. (the hint is in the "reckless" part.)

Again, I don't disagree with you that if they knew and did nothing, it is reprehensible. My objection is only to your use of "guilty" and "conspiracy."

Re:No. The cat has FriendlyChemists tongue Slashdo (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 10 months ago | (#45024327)

Before you start throwing insults and getting all snotty, you might want to check your own facts. TFA mentions just one attempted murder, and nothing about a real murder. Go read it.

Re:No. The cat has FriendlyChemists tongue Slashdo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45024435)

You want to sentence them to be mimes?

That's cruel an unusual punishment!

Re:No. The cat has FriendlyChemists tongue Slashdo (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 10 months ago | (#45023969)

So, in other words, the FBI is guilty of conspiracy to commit murder.

Um, no. That isn't how it works.

Re:No. The cat has FriendlyChemists tongue Slashdo (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 10 months ago | (#45024005)

Great non-argument. Unfortunately it is how it works. If you actually write something coherent and state why you think that is not how it works, I'd be glad to blast a gaping hole in your argument.

Re:No. The cat has FriendlyChemists tongue Slashdo (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 10 months ago | (#45024425)

That's not how it works because a conspirator must have an active role, knowing that their actions would contribute to the crime. If the FBI did know in advance about a planned second murder, and intentionally chose to let someone die just so they'd have a better case, that's just negligence.

That's also not how it works because the second murder didn't actually occur, either. If the FBI were actively involved in it to conspiracy levels, that's be for a solicitation charge or attempted murder, not actual murder.

Finally, that's not how it works because that's not at all how the criminal justice system works. There is no golden truth that determines right or wrong. Rather, a prosecutor proposes a theory of how the events unfolded, and the defense presents a different theory. They both either agree, or present evidence to a panel of jurors whose job is not actually to decide guilt or innocence, but rather to decide whether the prosecutor's evidence proves the theory.

You are welcome to submit a theory that the FBI intended to cause a murder, but now you have to prove it. So far you've shown that the FBI knew he'd tried to hire a hitman at one point, but you haven't shown that they intended to cause further murders. You're allowing a window of under a month to wrap up the investigation and arrest, with no prior indication that a second murder attempt was imminent. You'll also need to prove that such a short schedule was obviously necessary, rather than allowing more time to gather more complete evidence.

Re:No. The cat has FriendlyChemists tongue Slashdo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45024329)

Errrrr, whut?

Let me recap that for you with some emphasis for easy understanding: He tried to hire FBI agents to do the February hit. After some yet unknown investigation and at unknown date, the server with SR was imaged, and after examining PM logs there they found the whole FriendlyChemist/redandwhite drama and directed inquiry to Canadian police.

Now if they'd have placed a bug on his PC in Feb'13 and complacently waited after grabbing that conversation as it unfolded, you'd have something to say.

Breaking Bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45023829)

Sounds like a trick out of Hank's book

Re:Breaking Bad? (1)

Raenex (947668) | about 10 months ago | (#45024069)

I saw a documentary years ago where an undercover agent [wikipedia.org] , trying to infiltrate a biker gang, used staged photos of a murder of a rival gang member to give him some street cred with the gang. So no, Breaking Bad wasn't there first.

Worse and worse (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 10 months ago | (#45023831)

This guy keeps turning out to be worse than we thought the day before.

It would be nice if the out of control authoritarians would end their insane drug war so that above-board businesses could replace murderous criminals in this thriving economy.

Re:Worse and worse (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#45023835)

We are on the slow road to that goal. Colorado and Washington have started us down that path. This will be no different than the end of the Volstead Act. Open defiance of the federal law by states is what got that ball rolling as well.

Re:Worse and worse (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 10 months ago | (#45023875)

This guy keeps turning out to be worse than we thought the day before.

Bitcoins turn you into a bad person, mmmmmkay?

Re:Worse and worse (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 10 months ago | (#45024057)

I agree to some extent. But certain substances are so terrible that they need to stay banned - the news about krokodil hitting the US is terrifying because that drug is so horrible. Meth, too, does terrible things to its addicts. Heroin and cocaine kill. On the other hand, milder drugs such as pot and shrooms are relatively harmless and need to be regulated by the FDA or Firearms/Tobacco rather than treated as illegal. I also firmly thing that instead of tossing non-violent addicts in jail, they need to go to rehab clinics instead. (Hey, they can even be private rehab clinics, as long as they actually work.)

Re:Worse and worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45024247)

It is true that krokodil is bad stuff, but if opiates were legal and could be obtained otc who would go that route? A lot of the harm from street drugs is because you have no idea whats in what you are buying, and the dosages could be off. If you could buy codine over the counter, or oxycodone or hydrocodone and other stuff over the couter who them would go out and buy street tar?

And as for meth, if other stimulants like adderall were aviablable easily the meth market would dry up. Meth is bad because of all the chemical nastiness added during the cooking process. Make amphetemine salts legal again meth goes away for the large part.

I've seen a lot of people do Coke too but never seen anyone die from it. Coke these days sucks ass and its a waste of money in my opionion because by the time you get it it's been cut to hell with all kind of other stuff.

Classmate (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45023915)

I went to high school with Ulbricht. Played hacky sack with him during lunch sometimes... never struck me as the "kingpin" type. He didn't even seem above average in any way. Guess you never know what people are capable of.

Re:Classmate (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45024289)

I went to high school with Ulbricht. Played hacky sack with him during lunch sometimes...

Clearly, hacky sack turns people into murderers. You heard it here first, folks, from a bona fide anonymous poster, and as we all know, they're the real voices of wisdom! Hopefully next we can connect drum circles to genocidal tendencies, or maybe at least tie-dye shirts to disrupting the US Mail!

No wonder he got nailed (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 10 months ago | (#45023935)

Just running the site he was 'safe', but the old rule applies that if you are doing anything remotely shady you don't stick your nose out there and make a target of yourself .. as they will use it to shut you down.

Hiring someone for murder, well that qualifies as making yourself a target. Idiot.

No evidence the murder was real (1)

Matt_H (34421) | about 10 months ago | (#45023957)

For those who are looking for information rather than hype, there is the source:

http://www1.icsi.berkeley.edu/~nweaver/UlbrichtCriminalComplaint.pdf

At the bottom of page 23, you can read the following:

"32. Although I believe the foregoing exchange demonstrates DPR's intention to solicit a murder-for-hire, I have spoken with Canadian law enforcement authorities, who have no of there being any Canadian resident with the name DPR passed to redandwhite as the target of the solicited murder-for-hire. Nor do they have any record of a homicide occurring in White Rock, British Columbia on or about March 31, 2013."

Re:No evidence the murder was real (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45024195)

Solicitation of murder doesn't require there to be an actual attempt at murder. All the time, people start asking around in an attempt to find a hit man and end up on tape asking an undercover cop to kill someone. It's an easy way to get free rent and 3 squares a day for the next 20 years. My favorite case is Dalia Dippolito, great vids on YT.

This guy is especially stupid. A random anonymous person on the internet asked where he could get rid of 1kg of cocaine so he arranged a deal with one of his employees. When the employee gets busted he turns to the random anonymous person, who was an undercover cop trying to bust Silk Road, and pays him to kill his employee! Then later, he is extorted by a random anonymous person who has a big debt and when he is contacted out of the blue by another random anonymous person, the supposed creditor, he just up and asks/pays him to kill the first anonymous person. He's certainly no Lex Luthor.

WTF was he doing in the US? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 10 months ago | (#45024185)

Why would a millionaire drug dealer - a type of criminal that is highly unwelcome in the US, continue to reside there?

Re:WTF was he doing in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45024439)

Why wouldn't the US welcome a MILLIONAIRE?

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