As you likely know by now, Shaun Bridges, a Secret Service agent who was involved in the investigation and arrest of Ross Ulbricht, is under suspicion for the theft of even more bitcoin. In a document, unsealed on the 30th of last month, we found out that he helped himself again, to more than $700,000 worth of Bitcoin that was already in a Secret Service account. Much of this corruption was enabled by the government’s poor handling of the case and knowledge that Bridges had a digital key that allowed him to have access to the account – yet they didn’t move the money until it was far too late. This same kind of corruption set the standard for the entire case against Ross Ulbricht, so Bitcoin.com reached out to Lyn Ulbricht, Ross’s mother, for comment. Some of the highlights are below.
Something that likely has no place in a case involving drugs is the defendant’s political views. Unfortunately for Ross, his political views not only came into view, but also impacted the way he was sentenced. His mother mentions how Judge Katherine Forrest clearly vocalized that she found the writings and beliefs of Ross to be “deeply troubling” and “very dangerous.” If you’ve been around since the beginning of the site itself, you’d probably have been aware that Dread Pirate Roberts was a strong, vocal libertarian who made sure the community knew. In fact, his views were a huge part of the motivation behind the Silk Road.
Lyn talks about how there were several individuals who got picked up on drug charges involving the Silk Road, but none of them ended up getting as much time as Ross did. Three noteworthy arrests were Jan Slomp, the leading vendor on Silk Road, Steven Sadler, the biggest cocaine and heroin vendor, and Peter Nash, a Silk Road admin. They received 10 years, 5 years, and 17 months respectively (source). Ulbricht was charged with money laundering, computer hacking, conspiracy to traffic narcotics, and a murder charge. Even though the murder charge was dropped, Ross Ulbricht was still given a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Even from the outside, this doesn’t seem like true justice. His mother says that both she and the defense strongly believe that Ross was treated and sentenced unfairly.
The judge made it clear that, at least in part, she issued her barbaric sentence because she considers Ross a political threat. The grotesque disparity between Ross’ sentence and those of the others finally convinced me that he is a political prisoner. The government wanted to make Ross an example, presumably to warn others from creating a similar site. (Of course, this failed, and there are many sites now in existence that are far bigger than Silk Road ever was).
– Lyn Ulbricht on her son’s sentencing
Another point Lyn makes in the interview is that during Ross’s sentencing, the judge treated him the way she did because he was the first person to launch a drug market on the deep web. In the words of the judge, “what you did was unprecedented and in breaking that ground as the first person you sit here as the defendant now today having to pay the consequences for that.”
To summarize, Lyn Ulbricht wanted to convey a few thoughts to the world in regard to the most recent discovery of corruption in the Silk Road case.
- The case was mishandled from the start.
- Shaun Bridges had total control of the site and tampered with evidence, as proven twice now.
- The prosecution has completely ignored the evidence manipulation and blatant mishandling of the case as a whole.
- He was sentenced unfairly due to his political beliefs.
- Ross was treated and sentenced unfairly because he was the creator of the first dark net market.
Both Lyn and Ross’s lawyer, Joshua Dratel, are far from surprised by the corruption, but are still fighting to have Ross treated fairly. Lyn doesn’t want this to take case to take precedence in situations where “Internet freedoms” and “victim-less crimes” end up in front of a judge.
The interview was fairly concise but the underlying theme was that the most recent bitcoin theft by the Secret Service agent just attests to the level of corruption and incompetence involved in prosecuting Ross Ulbricht. If you’re interested in the full content, follow the source link at the bottom of the page.