Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Bombshells on the First Day of the Ross Ulricht Trial

Tuesday was the first day of trial for Ross Ulbricht, the founder and alleged operator of Silk Road.

Both the prosecution and the defense launched serious artillery in opening arguments.

From the prosecution, via Assistant US attorney Timothy Howard, the jury was told that the government had flipped an old college friend of Ulbricht's and that the friend(?) would testify against Ulbricht and state that Ulbricht did admit that he was the founder of Silk Road.

The defense returned fire by admitting that Ulbricht did create Silk Road, but merely as an "economic experiment."  Defense attorney Joshua Dratel told the jury that Ulbricht only controlled Silk Road for a brief time and that Silk Road was turned over to the real operator, who goes by the pseudonym Dread  Pirate Roberts.

Dratel stated that Dread Roberts later tricked Ulbricht into serving as the “fall guy” when he sensed an impending law enforcement crackdown.

 He told the jury that he would present evidence that the “real” Dread Pirate Roberts paid for information about the law enforcement investigation that focused on him, including information that they had possibly learned his real name. “And that name is not Ross Ulbricht,” Dratel said.

The new operator of the Silk Road “had been alerted the walls were closing in,” Dratel said. “That’s what compelled the Dread Pirate Roberts to put his escape plan into action,” framing Ulbricht."

Wow, I hope Dratel is good at jury selection.


(via Wired)

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