We perish because we know not… #TLENews
The man who prosecutors claim is the mastermind behind the the Silk Road illegal online drug marketplace is not who they say he is.
That, at least, was the argument Tuesday of defense attorney Joshua Dratel in his opening statements at the trial of Ross William Ulbricht. The government alleges Ulbricht ran the criminal marketplace known as Silk Road, where the underworld sold illegal drugs, weapons and hacking services, according to reports by Wired, Bloomberg and other media covering the trial this week in New York.
Dratel acknowledged for the first time that Ulbricht, a former Eagle Scout, founded and initially oversaw the $1.2 billion contraband site, which the federal government shut down in October 2013. But Ulbricht, who called himself the Dread Pirate Roberts from the movie and novel “The Princess Bride,” was just a “fall guy” who handed control of his “economic experiment” to others when daily operations became “too much for him,” and returned to run the site just as federal authorities closed in, Dratel argued.
“Ross was not a drug dealer, Ross was not a kingpin, Ross was not involved in a conspiracy to do anything like that,” Dratel told the court, according to Bloomberg.