Nearly five years after his arrest for his role in the creation of the Silk Road online marketplace, Ross Ulbricht was denied a hearing with the U.S. Supreme Court.
On Thursday June 28, the highest court in the United States refused to hear arguments from Ross Ulbricht’s attorneys regarding his 2015 conviction and double-life sentence for his role in managing the Silk Road website. The online marketplace allowed users to buy products – legal and illegal – using Bitcoin until it was shut down by the federal government in 2013. Ulbricht was arrested on October 2, 2013 and charged with a range of felonies related to running an alleged criminal empire. In February 2015 he was found guilty and eventually sentenced to two life sentences plus 40 years.
For five years Ross Ulbricht’s lawyers, family, and friends have fought the charges, conviction, and sentencing in this prolonged saga involving corrupt federal agents, suppression and denial of evidence and witnesses, and an extraordinarily long sentence for a man with no criminal history. After previous appeals were denied, Ross Ulbricht and his support team decided to seek help from the U.S. Supreme Court. Ulbricht’s appeal claimed that federal agents had illegally monitored his Internet traffic to connect him to the Silk Road. Ultimately, the monitoring of Internet traffic led authorities to Ulbricht which led to his subsequent arrest and prison sentence. Ulbricht’s appeal stated that this activity violated his constitutional right to be free from unlawful searches.
The U.S. Supreme Court disagreed with this assessment and decided not to hear the case. “The Supreme Court’s denial of Ross’ petition is devastating to us personally, but also to the Fourth Amendment and privacy rights of all Americans,” Lyn Ulbricht, mother of Ross Ulbricht, told Activist Post.
We had hoped that not only would Ross receive relief from the Court, but that the federal government would finally be required to obtain a warrant before surveilling and seizing our internet browsing history.
The Ulbricht family and Free Ross have consistently made the point that their fight was not only about Ross, but digital privacy in general.
With this decision, our internet browsing habits remain unprotected and open season for the government to spy on and use at will.
(Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver discusses Ross Ulbricht’s case)
Throughout Ulbricht’s trial the government claimed he should be held responsible for all of the illegal drug sales on Silk Road, an estimated $183 million worth of illegal drugs. The federal government also attempted to pin the blame for six drug overdoses on Ross Ulbricht. Finally, the government discussed alleged and unproven claims that Ulbricht attempted to have five people murdered in an attempt to keep his identity private. Despite the fact that these claims have never been proven they continue to be used in the media and court to pain Ross Ulbricht in a negative light.
Ulbricht is not the only individual facing prison time for playing a role in the Silk Road website. Gary Davis of Ireland has been facing charges and extradition attempts for the last five years. Davis is facing charges related to his alleged role as “Libertas,” an alias for someone who handled customer service for the online marketplace. The U.S. government claims Davis was paid $6,000 a month by Ross Ulbricht for his help. Davis attempted to fight the extradition charges based on his diagnosis with Asperger’s syndrome. Unfortunately, on July 4 the Irish Court ruled that Davis’ condition would not prevent him from being handed over to federal authorities in the U.S.
Let’s be clear about the matter: Davis will not get a fair shake in the United States. He will likely have a similar experience as Ross Ulbricht. His witnesses and arguments will be denied or struck from the record. The jury will not get a chance to hear the full story. The feds will get every opportunity to paint him as a criminal. This is exactly what happened to Ulbricht and it will be sad to see Davis face the same courts.
I attended the Silk Road trial and have written extensively about the unfair treatment Ulbricht received. Do yourself a favor and catch up on the details of the case. The major point of contention comes from the discovery that two former federal agents stole hundreds of thousands of dollars during their investigation of the Silk Road. The two defendants are Carl Force, a former special agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Shaun Bridges, a former Secret Service special agent.
Force and Bridges were assigned to a task force based in Baltimore investigating Silk Road. Force was the lead investigator working undercover, and Bridges was a computer forensics expert working on the case. These men were ultimately convicted of stealing bitcoins from the site and extorting Ulbricht by posing as a drug dealer. Force plead guilty and got six and a half years in July 2015, while Bridges received just under six years in prison.
Dratel argued that the court “abused its discretion” and denied Ulbricht his constitutional rights to a fair trial by precluding the defense from using the evidence relating to Force’s corruption and denying Ulbricht’s motion for a new trial based on that evidence.
Please stay tuned to Activist Post for future updates on Gary Davis and Ross Ulbricht.
Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for ActivistPost.com and the founder of the TheConsciousResistance.com. Follow him on Twitter. Derrick is the author of three books: The Conscious Resistance: Reflections on Anarchy and Spirituality and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 1, Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 2 and Manifesto of the Free Humans.
Derrick is available for interviews. Please contact Derrick@activistpost.com
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A double life sentence plus 40 years for this?! All because the government was excluded from extracting taxes from this lucrative business venture? Very telling…
Meanwhile, the pedo rings, rapists, murderers are either still roaming free or are getting light sentences.
Our world is so upside=down.
You’re right, the world painted in the media is upside down. Most certainly in the ludicrous MSM, but also in the so-called “alternative” media. Slowly you’ll find out that these outlets are controlled as well. Thesis – antithesis and so on.
My point: all of this (bitcoin, NSA asset Ulbricht, seemingly deranged Mr Ver, the kind of “anarchism” pushed here) is part of the controlled narrative. All staged. It’s the circus surrounding the march to a new “Order out of Chaos”.
It’s no surprise that the Supreme Court refused to hear Ross’s argument for his 4th amendment rights and against illegal surveillance, it’s the favored tool of the police state and they will keep it’s abuse shrouded in disinformation and propaganda.
I met Ross’s mother once at a hacking convention where she was speaking and spoke with her about the case and her son’s treatment, it’s a textbook example of the FBI violating the law in many ways both domestically and internationally in order to secure a conviction. Double life plus 40? Name a cartel boss who has ever received a sentence anything close to that.
It seems to me he made the mistake of competing against the organized crime ring that masquerades as our government. Maybe someday, if the people ever wake up to the fact that we have no government protecting us, things will change.
If he didn’t pay his protection money/ taxes to the communist/ ju world order/ state then he got on their sh*t list. They have to make an example of bad slaves.
It is long past time for the rest of the world to acknowledge the systemic corruption of the US judicial system. The whole American system is rife with built in corruption from the police up through the structure to the prosecutors and the courts themselves. Grand Juries, for instance, are a main factor in corruption. They are the exact opposite of fair and due process. Finally the judgements are totally ridiculous with double life sentences etc. No accused from any other nation should be rendered into the hands of the US medieval system.
What everyone fails to realize is that there IS NO LAWFUL government. There has been no such government for over 157 YEARS. What has existed since March 27, 1861 is; first of all, a dictatorship under Abraham Lincoln followed by Andrew Johnson. He was impeached, but not convicted, for trying to restore constitutional government. Under Ulysses S. Grant, on February 23, 1871, the country came under the control of the first of three private municipal corporations, all three of which went bankrupt. The last of these filed Chapter 11, announced June 9,1933. It is claimed to have “emerged” at some time in 1999, but how that can be when the “debt” increased every year but one during that entire period remains a mystery. (or a big lie) Twice, while the Federal District Court for The District of Columbia still had some credibility, the court ruled that the constitutional offices, president, congress, courts, were vacant, and those claiming those titles were actors that were in fact officers of the private corporation only. We, therefore, are in fact ruled over by a fascist corporate entity, owned and controlled by an oligarchy, that has no lawful authority whatever, and rules by force alone. We are in the exact same position here today as were the people of Germany under Hitler (actually Rothchild), Russia under Stalin, and for that matter, the Italians under the emperors of ancient Rome. What we have in common with the Italians is that their government pretended to support freedom; the others (though Hitler did at first) didn’t even pretend freedom existed.