A jury has convicted Ross Ulbricht of being Dread Pirate Roberts, and masterminding the Silk Road online empire where hundreds of millions of dollars in illicit goods were traded before the feds shut it down in 2013.
Ulbricht was found guilty on all seven charges brought against him in a trial that lasted one month, and jury deliberation that lasted just over three hours. He faces a possible maximum sentence of life in prison.
The charges against him included drug distribution, money laundering, conspiring to deal in hacking tools, and producing fake IDs.
"There's no dispute when the defendant was arrested, he was logged in as Dread Pirate Roberts," federal prosecutor Serrin Turner told jurors.
"It's not the end," Ulbricht's mother, Lyn Ulbricht, said to her son as he was escorted from the courtroom. Somebody from the gallery shouted: "Ross is a hero."
On Wednesday, less than a month after his trial began in a downtown Manhattan courtroom, 30-year-old Ulbricht was convicted of all seven crimes he was charged with, including narcotics and money laundering conspiracies and a “kingpin” charge usually reserved for mafia dons and drug cartel leaders. It took the jury only 3.5 hours to return a verdict. Ulbricht faces a minimum of 30 years in prison; the maximum is life. But Ulbricht’s legal team has said it will appeal the decision, and cited its frequent calls for a mistrial and protests against the judge’s decisions throughout the case.
As the verdict was read, Ulbricht stared straight ahead. His mother Lyn Ulbricht slowly shook her head, and his father Kirk put a hand to his temple. After the verdict, Ulbricht turned around to give his family a stoic smile.