Alleged Silk Road founder indicted by federal grand jury in New York

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The alleged founder of the Web’s biggest black market, Ross Ulbricht, faces decades in prison.

Ross Ulbricht, 29, the man accused of being the mastermind known as Dread Pirate Roberts behind the Deep Web black market known as Silk Road, was indicted by a federal grand jury in New York earlier today, reports ABC’s Micah Grimes.

Ulbricht, who was arrested on Oct. 2 by the FBI, faces charges for narcotics trafficking, continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to commit computer-hacking, and money laundering. Trafficking and continuing a criminal enterprise carry potential life sentences while the minimum sentence carried by each charge ranges from five to 20 years in prison.

He is also accused of orchestrating multiple murder-for-hire plots across the United States and Canada. Ulbricht has denied all charges. He has, however, filed a claim asserting that he is the owner of the 144,336 bitcoins seized from his computer hardware. The bitcoins are worth $120 million today.

In his first jailhouse interview in October, Ulbricht said he is “not excessively” worried about the future.

If convicted in New York, Ulbricht faces a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence and a more likely sentence of 20 to 30 years.

The full text of the indictment is available on the Justice Department’s website.

Illustration by Jason Reed

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