U.S. Prosecutors Respond to Ulbricht's Life Sentence Appeal


U.S. Prosecutors Respond to Ulbricht's Life Sentence Appeal

On June 17, the US government finally responded to the appeal set forth by Ulbricht defense attorney Joshua Dratel, basically saying that the Silk Road operator is still guilty even though two agents were caught corrupting the case.

Also read: Why PayPal’s Venmo is Beating Bitcoin in P2P Payments

Attorney Preet Bharara Says Ulbricht is Still Guilty 

ross ulbricht
Ross Ulbricht

United States Attorney Preet Bharara unveiled a 200-page brief from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which states that the appeals court should keep to the original sentencing.

Bharara explains throughout the report that even though there were two corrupted agents involved with the case, it still doesn’t excuse Ulbricht for his involvement and wrongdoings.

Throughout the brief, there are many pictures of methamphetamine, cocaine and other illicit drugs showing the ease of use within the Silk Road Marketplace. The U.S. attorney’s document shows pictures of Ulbricht’s laptop logged on as DPR when he was arrested among many pages of evidence shown in the report.

“Although Ulbricht likens himself to the “landlord” who lets his tenants sell drugs, in fact he was a kingpin, the “captain of the ship, in his words, who was “leading an international narcotics organization” from behind his wall of anonymity,”

However, Dratel’s appeal explains that his client was not the only maintainer of the marketplace, and with the evidence of the two officers’, guilt they could have manipulated the entire case.

But Bharara believes that just because this evidence was found, it “did nothing to undermine the reliability of the evidence.”

This is most likely why there is page after page of evidence within the report that tries to affirm the attorney’s argument.

Bharara says the entire appeal rests on the assumption that once the government found out about the manipulation, the defense thought Ulbricht “was entitled to conduct his own independent inquiry, to ensure no exculpatory material existed anywhere in the federal government’s holdings. But that is not the law,” says the U.S. attorney.

Drawing created by Ross Ulbricht in prison. His interpretation of the trial.
Drawing created by Ross Ulbricht in prison. His interpretation of the trial.

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals still has the decision to make, and the Ulbricht family hopes the corruption helps the case.

The family is not pleased with the outcome of the entire trial and believe the double life sentence was completely unjust.

Just recently, the Silk Road 2.0 operator Brian Farrell was sentenced to 8 years for his conviction of maintaining the marketplace that followed the original.

Brad Bench, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Seattle said, “As one of the key masterminds and coordinator of the Silk Road criminal marketplace, Farrell profited from the destruction of untold lives.” But still, Farrell only received a very light sentence in comparison to Ulbricht.

The Ulbricht family doesn’t understand why the judge was so harsh on Ross when others got a slap on the wrist.

The Ulbricht family aren’t the only people who find the double life sentence unjust, as many in the community believe the judge used Ross to set an example.

Many consider Ulbricht a martyr who fought for freedom, and raised awareness about the horrible atrocities the war on drugs has done to this world. Many citizens of this world are locked behind bars for victimless crimes, and a great swath of activists are trying to break this precedent.

Bitcoin.com will continue following the appeal process as it unfolds and will keep our readers informed when the appellate court makes an official decision.

What do you think about United States Attorney Preet Bharara statements and brief? Let us know in the comments below!

Tags in this story
Brian Farrell, Dark Net Markets, Free Ross, Joshua Dratel, Preet Bharara

Images courtesy of Ross Ulbricht’s drawing, and Pixabay.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 6,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

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