Drugs, drugs, and more drugs. Well, strike that; there are fewer drugs out there right now. On Wednesday, the FBI caught the alleged creator of the largest drug trafficking site, the Silk Road. The man behind the illegal site? Ross William Ulbricht, previously known as Dread Pirate Roberts (like The Princess Bride villain!), was arrested at a library in San Francisco.
Estimates, as reported at Tech Crunch and other sites, have claimed that the site made over $1.2 billion in sales during its time as a black market. From heroin and meth, to guns and weapons, the site, people looking for illegal things found their community on the Silk Road. Here’s the crazy thing, his family didn’t even suspect him (allegedly). Forbes reported that his half-brother didn’t even suspect Ulbricht to be involved with any illegal activity, nor his roommate
This storyline is nearly as good as a Nick Cage movie. Ulbricht was just a normal dude. He’s a Penn State grad with a Twitter and a nice, neat LinkedIn profile. He calls himself an investment advisor and entrepreneur. But at one point there was a rumor that he ordered one of the sellers on his site to be killed. Ubricht casually noted in an email at the time that, “what’s done is done.” Just another day’s work in the life of a crazy black market operator.
And, if you look a bit closer on his LinkedIn profile, you’ll see the crazy come out there too:
“I believe violence, coercion and all forms of force by one person over another can come to an end. The most widespread and systemic use of force is amongst institutions and governments, so this is my current point of effort. The best way to change a government is to change the minds of the governed, however. To that end, I am creating an economic simulation to give people a first-hand experience of what it would be like to live in a world without the systemic use of force.”
So, yeah. That’s totally normal and definitely something you want to advertise, right?
The FBI has been tracking the Silk Road for two years, and has made more than 100 undercover purchases of drugs from vendors on the site according to USAToday. It’s not quite clear yet on how the organization will handle the suit yet, given that the transactions are made with Bitcoins, the virtual currency, meaning they remain anonymous.
In case you didn’t already think Ulbricht was weird enough. Here’s an excerpt that he posted on the Silk Road site in fall 2012 about the motivation of the Silk Road: “In Oct. 2012, he noted in a post: “Silk Road was founded on libertarian principles and continues to be operated on them … The same principles that have allowed Silk Road to flourish can and do work anywhere human beings come together. The only difference is that the State is unable to get its thieving murderous mitts on it.”
He’s got some pretty crazy ideas on the way the world works. But that’s might be what it takes when you’re running a black market website for drugs and weapons as a side-job.