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Silk Road dealer found a hungry market for mail order drugs

Joab Jackson | Jan. 30, 2015
A former drug dealer has testified in court that he sold as much as US$70,000 worth of heroin each month through the Silk Road online market, which he saw as a safe, easy place to do business.

Using a spreadsheet that he kept to record his sales, Duch estimated that in his six months of operation he fulfilled over 2,414 orders through Silk Road, or about 31,827 bags. He sold about 3.18 kilograms (just over 7 pounds) of heroin in total through the site.

In their case against Ulbricht, federal prosecutors need to convince the jury a large amount of drugs flowed through Silk Road. As of October 2013, when law enforcement agencies closed the site, it contained offers for 13,000 different products, mostly drugs.

The prosecutors maintain Ulbricht was the mastermind behind the Silk Road. He is charged with narcotics conspiracy, engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to commit computer hacking and money laundering. The narcotics and criminal enterprise charges carry maximum penalties of life in prison. Ulbricht has pled not guilty to all charges.

His defense lawyer, Joshua Dratel, has argued that Ulbricht handed off the site to other operators shortly after he started it, and that they lured back immediately before his arrest to serve as a fall guy.

 

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