Silk Road

A "Dread Pirate Roberts" Was Using a Silk Road Account Even After Ross Ulbricht Was Arrested, Says His Mother Lyn Ulbricht

Further evidence for the defense theory of multiple Dread Pirate Robertses that could exculpate Ulbricht.


I reported the other day about a discovery request made by Ross Ulbricht's defense team, led by Joshua Dratel, to the attorney general in Maryland regarding what they see as evidence that the digital trail of evidence that helped convict Ulbricht in a separate case, a conviction for which he's currently in prison for life, was clearly tainted and not properly presented to them for their defense. (Ulbricht was convicted on seven counts connected to allegations he ran the Silk Road darkweb sales site, under the pseudonym "Dread Pirate Roberts.")

It has long been a defense contention that, although they grant Ulbricht founded the Silk Road, that the "Dread Pirate Roberts" (DPR) acting during the time of the accused crimes may well have been someone else.

Via an email from Ulbricht's mother Lyn Ulbricht today is more evidence that the multiple-DPR theory might be true.

The defense team has learned, she writes, that someone logged into the DPR account on Silk Road's forum on November 18, 2013, whereas Ulbricht had been arrested and in custody since Oct 1. This fact has been mentioned in the discovery letter sent to Maryland this week, she says, though it was not discussed in the press conference on it Tuesday.

Lyn Ulbricht's official statement on this:

Joshua Dratel said a long time ago that we only know the tip of the iceberg regarding the corruption in this case. This week we have seen another big chunk of ice revealed: evidence tampering and apparently at least one additional DPR. If this back-up of the forum database had not been saved or discovered; if log-ins made by DPR after Ross' arrest were not found, no one would be the wiser. This begs the question: how much more is there? Unfortunately we may never know, as it's the nature of digital evidence that it's easily changed, planted or deleted without a trace. That my son—or anyone—would get a life sentence without parole based on vulnerable digital evidence, especially when it's been corrupted, is a travesty of justice.

The Ross Ulbricht Legal Defense effort is running a fundraising webathon on Sunday December 4, which I'll be participating in as a commentator on the benefits the Silk Road provided to the world and the injustice of Ulbricht's sentence. See for all the details.

NEXT: Trump's Carrier Cronyism, Goldman Sachs' Revolving Door, and Obama's Late-Breaking Reefer Sanity

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  1. So now someone wants to exculpate the poor bastard? Just leave him alone already!

  2. I’m glad they’re not letting this go.

    I would like nothing more than to see that judge’s sentence overturned or at least amended.

    1. I was going to say something about mulching devices, but then I saw a photo of a handsome guy names Preet, and I was in such awe, that I forgot what I was going to say.

      1. Truly, Preet is a man who sees sense before sentences. Were I to trust my fate in anyone’s hands, it would be the one they call Bharara.

    2. With some harsh words from a superior court for her own failures, seeing that criticism from the “unwashed” is suppressed by Gestapo tactics.

    3. LWOP is an outrageous sentence for Ross.

    1. It always comes back to his mom.

  3. I realize that this is all coming from the defense and Ulbricht’s mother, but I have no trouble believing it. Federal law enforcement – especially when being prodded by a loudmouth PITA senator – is capable of anything.

  4. “Roberts had grown so rich, he wanted to retire. He took me to his cabin and he told me his secret. ‘I am not the Dread Pirate Roberts’ he said. ‘My name is Ross Ulbricht; I inherited the website from the previous Dread Pirate Roberts, just as you will inherit it from me. The man I inherited it from is not the real Dread Pirate Roberts either. His name was Cummerbund. The real Roberts has been retired 15 years and living like a king in Patagonia.”

    1. The geographic region or a Patagonia store?

      1. Store.

        He married the old lady CEO.

      2. There are no roads in either, so both are a libertarian paradise.

    2. OK, this is the sort of comment that even the nerds beat people up for in school. I give you a Captain Picard, as played by Patrick Stewart on Star Trek: The Next Generation a continuation, style facepalm for explaining widely known and referenced cultural zeitgeists, in text, on the internet, without hyperlinks. It’s like Wikipedia for people who don’t know what Wikipedia is.

    3. -1 Westley

    4. Westley didn’t inherit the title from Cummerbund ? he inherited from Ryan who inherited from Cummerbund (who inherited it from Clooney who inherited it from the original Roberts).

        1. This is part of the “begats”, right?

    5. What the fuck?

      I’m in the wrong part of town, and I don’t want to be here.

  5. The real Roberts has been retired 15 years and living like a king in Patagonia.

    1. You know who else lived like a king in Patagonia?

      1. I though it was that Butch Kid and Cass Sunstein? I mean until they were hunted down and killed by Gerald Ford.

      2. Kim Dotcom?

        1. Is your handle a chainsword?

    2. And, for you, I fully acknowledge being guilty of this myself but still feel compelled to give you an obligatory… “Oooh! That’s where he got it from!”

  6. The question is no longer whether Ulbricht got a fair trail. It’s obvious that he didn’t.

    The real questions are for Preet Bahara.

    “But nowhere, either below or here, has Ulbricht explained, other than in the most conclusory way, how the corruption of two agents?who neither testified at his trial nor generated the evidence against him?tended to disprove that he was running Silk Road from his laptop.”

    —-Preet Bahara…..-doj-says/

    Whether evidence is exculpatory isn’t for the Ulbricht to explain. That’s for a jury to decide.

    Did the U.S. Attorney’s office withhold exculpatory evidence from a jury?

    How could the evidence that two corrupt FBI agents had be so damning that it could be used to extort Ross Ulbricht–but not damning enough for Preet Bahara to use at trial?

    If he didn’t know the team investigating Ulbricht was corrupt and extorting him, then why didn’t Preet Bahra use the evidence generated by the two corrupt FBI agents?

    Did Preet Bahara withhold the evidence that was gathered by agents who were extorting Ulbricht–because he knew they were facing corruption allegations for extorting Ulbricht?

    Is willfully withholding exculpatory evidence from a jury a crime?

    At what point did Preet Bahara first learn that two of the FBI agents who were investigating Ulbricht were facing corruption allegations for extorting Ulbricht?

    1. Sounds like questions Preet will only answer before a…..woodchipper!

      Disclaimer: The woodchipper is made of rubber and is mainly harmless but is used merely to frighten people.

      1. Regardless, it’s obvious that Ulbricht didn’t get a fair trial.

        The FBI agents who were investigating Ulbricht tried to extort him–with evidence they had or maybe with evidence they threatened to concoct.

        That’s reasonable doubt.

        Weighing the credibility of evidence is the job of a jury, and if the investigators tried to extort the defendant–with threats of fabricating evidence against him–then a jury needs to know that before they can honestly weigh the credibility of that evidence.

        If the jury hears that story, my money is on Ulbricht going free. All he’d need is one juror out of twelve to decide that there was a reasonable doubt.

        1. Let’s hope.

          If anything, I will gain satisfaction knowing that judge had to watch her verdict crumble into nothingness.

  7. The defense team has learned, she writes, that someone logged into the DPR account on Silk Road’s forum on November 18, 2013, whereas Ulbricht had been arrested and in custody since Oct 1.

    I’m thinking that the name Dread Pirate Roberts was chosen for exactly this reason ? like in the novel, the account is handed from admin to admin.

  8. That’s because they didn’t arrest the real Dread Pirate Roberts.

    1. It’s tough to extradite people from Patagonia, because no one is there to do the extraditing. Just sayin.

  9. File under: prog harder

    Ellison seems to be one of few liberal thinkers who understands that we can’t just drop the interests of marginalized groups from the Democratic Party’s agenda and ignore their very real struggles to appeal to racist, privileged, and small-minded people who either resent or are disinterested in the plights of minorities.…..g-identity

    1. “few” has apparently been redefined to mean “most”

  10. “Those two figures loom large over the appeals process: former Drug Enforcement Agent Carl Mark Force, and former Secret Service Agent Shaun Bridges.

    The pair worked together on the Baltimore-based law enforcement task force that went hard after Silk Road. Ultimately the case was prosecuted out of New York, where local investigators testified at trial. All material gathered from Baltimore was kept out.

    However, after Ulbricht’s trial concluded in late 2014, the government unveiled criminal corruption charges against both federal agents. The government concluding that agents Force and Bridges worked independently to extort money from Dread Pirate Roberts (Ulbricht’s online identity) and rip off Silk Road as a whole. By the end of 2015, after taking plea agreements, both Force and Bridges were sentenced.”

    —-Ars Technica…..-doj-says/

    They should have been cross examined by Ulbricht’s defense counsel. They couldn’t be cross examined because no one knew they existed.

    Now we find there may have been more?!

    Who knows how the evidence used to convict Ulbricht was obtained? No one should take the word of the FBI or the Justice Department–not if we’re talking about crooked FBI agents that were extorting Ulbricht and not if the U.S. Attorney’s Office was withholding the fact that the agents investigating Ulbricht were under investigation for extorting him.

  11. I have to say, however bad Trump turns out to be, it’s amusing the way he causes CNN anchors to facepalm.

  12. A new low in Castro coverage courtesy of Salon:

    David Ariosto, founder of CubaUntold, stopped by Salon to discuss the controversial legacy of Fidel Castro. Castro led the Republic of Cuba for 47 years in total; he was prime minister from 1959 to 1976 and president from 1976 to 2006.

    Here, let me fix that for you: Some jerkoff came to Salon to make excuses for the obvious and awful tyrant Fidel Castro. Castro’s reign of terror lasted 47 years in total, not counting the last 10 years of the rule of his equally awful brother. Castro was Cuba’s dictator from 1959 to 2006 before finally dying in 2016, an event which was celebrated by survivors of his regime.

    1. President AND Prime Minister! What a leader! Man of the people!

      Castro. Not dead enough.

    2. My wife – God bless her soul – while she understands and agrees Castro was a monster who deserved (s) a higher brand of justice, asked why she still sees people in Cuba praise him if he was so bad.

      I had to explain there’s a bunch of psychosis going on there including the fact, you know, they were brainwashed and essentially had no contact with the free world. Of course it was all *normal*. They didn’t know better.

      That’s why on this Western progressives are uber-evil.

      1. Does she wonder why North Koreans were sobbing and wailing in huge crowds when the last top jerkoff over there croaked?

        If you want to give her a hint, tell her it rhymes with “boncentration bamps”.…

        1. I think apolitical people just can’t fathom this sort of stuff because they’re too embedded and invested in looking at things from our Western liberal prisms.

          You have to *remind* them *why* this is happening and you’re sure as hell not going to get that from the mainstream press and all it’s apologetics.

      2. When things were going totally tits up in 1945 Germany, shortly before Hitler committed suicide, his personal aide, Heinz Linge, found out. He became absolutely distraught and confused, and asked, loyal to the very end: “For whom should we fight now?”

        Why we should accept arguments of “but, but people loved him” for Castro but not Hitler I will never understand. There were a lot of mass suicides in 1945, if that isn’t ‘going down with the ship’ I don’t know what is.

        1. Most people don’t actually realise Hitler was popular even to the end. They know his inner circle killed themselves, but know of nothing beyond that.

      3. I’m going to need pics of your wife before I answer. Blur out the face if you must.

  13. The spin never stops: “they didn’t switch sides! they just refused to vote for Clinton for some inexplicable reason!”…..evolt.html

  14. Something I wanted to mention the other day:

    Many people are shocked by policies when govts enact harmful policies. They forget that the main interest of politicians and bureaucrats is preserving and expanding their own power, even at the expense of everyone else. In fact, oppressing people is sometimes the goal of the policy.

    1. The goal, from the first day in office, is get re-elected. Barring that, it is to get appointed to another executive government position.

      Many local government scions take a leave of absence from elected positions to run an agency. Then, law permitting, they resurface and run for the elected position again.

      I am not really sure why Bill Clinton could not have run for US President again in 2016. He would not have held the office consecutively for more than two term if he won.

      1. “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice…” 22nd Amendment

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