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FBI nabs Silk Road creator

Newly released information about the arrest of the proprietor and developer of notorious Web site Silk Road shows that FBI agents may have apprehended the man after he posted his e-mail address. The man, age 29, is facing a variety of drug charges in connection with the alleged online activity. Not only is he charged with narcotics trafficking, but he is also facing other accusations such as money laundering and computer hacking, according to reputable news sources.

For those unfamiliar with the site, Silk Road served as a prominent site on the Web's Dark Net, an encrypted, more secure version of the everyday Internet. Users on the site were able to trade and purchase goods in almost complete secrecy; some have called it "the Amazon.com of vice." The site provided a platform for those who were interested in exchanging drugs, hiring hitmen and obtaining illegal documents such as passports and identification cards. The site, which uses its own form of currency known as a bitcoin, has an estimated international turnover of about $1.2 billion in sales.

The man accused of being in charge of the site, a former engineering and physics student at Penn State, alluded to the fact that he was the founder of the Silk Road through a variety of online posts. The man is thought to have founded the site as a sort of economic experiment to simulate a world without government intrusion or enforcement.

Authorities report that they were able to identify the defendant because of activities at a local Internet caf? in California. The man logged into his Google account on several occasions at that caf?; investigators matched the man's account with the Dark Net access that was also occurring at that facility.

It appears that evidence linking the man to the illegal activity is tenuous at this time, but investigators have amassed years' worth of information in the case. The seriousness of these allegations, along with the diverse nature of the man's crimes, will require skilled criminal defense representation.

Source: www.cnn.com, "How FBI caught Ross Ulbricht, alleged creator of criminal marketplace Silk Road" Tim Hume, Oct. 05, 2013

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