- Category : 1984-births
- Type : GP
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Service 1
American computer specialist and founder of the illegal market place "Silk Road". He studied physics at the University of Texas at Dallas, then became a graduate research assistant at Penn State University,. He earned a Master’s Degree in Materials Science and Engineering. While at Penn State, Ulbricht was also politically active in the school’s College Libertarians group and as a supporter of Ron Paul, a Republican competitor for presidential candidacy. In Silk Road’s community forums, the Dread Pirate Roberts always made the libertarian underpinnings of his organization clear.
In January 2011, he founded the darknet illegal marketplace Silk Road for trade in illegal drugs and other illegal products like counterfeit documents. In February 2012, the administrator of Silk Road took a new name, Dread Pirate Roberts, after a character in the film The Princess Bride.
On 2 October 2013, Ross William Ulbricht, alleged by the FBI to be the owner of Silk Road and the person behind the pseudonym "Dread Pirate Roberts", was arrested in San Franciscoat 3:15 p.m. PST in Glen Park Library, a branch of the San Francisco Public Library.
Ulbricht was indicted on charges of money laundering, computer hacking, conspiracy to traffic narcotics, and attempting to have six people killed. Prosecutors alleged that Ulbricht paid $730,000 to others to commit the murders, although none of the murders actually occurred. Ulbricht ultimately was not prosecuted for any of the alleged murders.
Ulbricht's trial began on 13 January 2015 in Federal Court in Manhattan. At the start of the trial, Ulbricht admitted to founding the Silk Road website, but claimed to have transferred control of the site to other people soon after he founded it. On 4 February 2015, the jury convicted Ulbricht of all seven charges, including charges of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, narcotics-trafficking, money-laundering and computer-hacking. He faced 30 years to life in prison.
In late March 2015 a criminal complaint issued by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California led to the arrest of two former federal agents who had worked undercover in the Baltimore Silk Road investigation of Ulbricht. The agents are alleged to have kept funds Ulbricht transferred to them in exchange for purported information about the investigation. The agents were charged with wire fraud and money laundering.
On 29 May 2015, Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He was also ordered to forfeit $183 million. Ulbricht’s lawyer, Joshua Dratel, said he would appeal the sentencing and the original guilty verdict.