Bail denied for alleged Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht

A federal judge on Thursday denied a petition to release alleged Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht from jail before his trial, concluding that the bail proposal his defense team presented was not strong enough to dispel worries that the San Francisco man would try to flee or take violent action.

Following the judge’s ruling, disappointed sighs were heard from a few members of 29-year-old Ulbricht’s family who attended the hearing.

Ulbricht’s lawyer had proposed a bail package worth $1 million that restricted the defendant’s movements and cut off his access to the Internet. But a Manhattan federal prosecutor argued there was reason to believe Ulbricht would try to leave the country if released, and that his alleged participation in six murder-for-hire plots rendered him too dangerous to remain outside of jail.

Ulbricht was arrested in San Francisco on Oct. 1 and charged in federal court in Manhattan with counts relating to drug trafficking, money laundering and computer hacking, all stemming from his alleged involvement in the anonymous Internet marketplace Silk Road, which sold drugs and criminal services in exchange for the digital currency Bitcoin. After Ulbricht’s arrest, the government shut down the website. Ulbricht is also facing charges in federal court in Maryland relating to a murder-for-hire plot.

At Thursday’s hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Serrin Turner told Magistrate Judge Kevin Fox that Ulbricht had tried to have a total of six people killed, dealing with at least two hit men, one of whom was an undercover agent. Turner also said federal agents analyzing a laptop seized from Ulbricht at the time of his arrest had found a diary he kept detailing his creation of the website.

Ulbricht’s lawyer Joshua Dratel countered that the government’s accusations were not yet proven, and that Ulbricht had a strong network of supportive friends and family members willing to take care of him and attest to his good character. He said the government had not offered any evidence that Ulbricht had committed violence or sold drugs himself.Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & Courtsinternet marketplaceRoss UlbrichtSilk Road

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The J Church train could begin running again later this month on at least part of its surface route. (Mira Laing/Special to S.F. Examiner)
First Muni trains will return to service Dec. 19

Three additional bus routes coming back online in January

Smoking cannabis. (Shutterstock)
Supes ban tobacco smoking in apartments but exempt cannabis

San Francisco banned smoking and vaping of tobacco in apartments Tuesday night,… Continue reading

Dr. Grant Colfax and Mayor London Breed said new restrictions could come this week due to rising COVID-19 cases.<ins> (Examiner screenshot)</ins>
Breed: ‘More restrictive action’ needed to slow spread of COVID-19

San Francisco officials said Tuesday tougher restrictions will soon be imposed to… Continue reading

Many landlords fought the proposal requiring them to register properties, calling it an invasion of privacy. 
Kevin N. Hume/
S.F. Examiner
Housing inventory wins unanimous approval from supervisors

Legislation will require landlords to register properties, report vacancies and rents

Harlan Kelly, head of the SFPUC and husband to City Administrator Naomi Kelly (right), faces federal charges for allegedly trading inside information on a city contract in return for a paid family vacation. (Courtesy photo)
Harlan Kelly, head of SFPUC, charged with fraud in widening Nuru scandal

Kelly accused of engaging in corrupt partnership with permit expediter

Most Read