Creator of 'Silk Road' convicted on all counts

A San Francisco man was convicted of creating and operating the shady online drug market Silk Road on Wednesday, and could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Ross Ulbricht, 30, was found guilty on seven drug and conspiracy counts, stemming from his creation of the shadowy website which allowed people to easily sell drugs and other illicit goods.


In a statement, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said that the conviction shows that “the supposed anonymity of the dark Web is not a protective shield from arrest and prosecution.”

Until it was shut down by federal officials in late 2013, the Silk Road allowed people to anonymously purchase virtually any illicit good or service, allegedly including murder-for-hire. The site operated over the Tor network — which relays users’ data through a series of nodes in order to mask location and identity — and users bought and sold items with bitcoins, a virtual currency that allows people to remain largely anonymous.

The site allegedly saw $1.2 billion in sales.

Since the shuttering of the site more than a year ago, copycats have bounced back up to replace it.

Ulbricht has claimed that he handed off control of the site soon after creating it.

Jurors rejected that claim over the weeks-long course of the arguments, and concluded that he continued running the site under the pseudonym “Dread Pirate Roberts.”

His sentencing is scheduled for May 15. The maximum penalties could land him in prison for the rest of his life.