Details emerge of alleged Silk Road operator’s murder-for-hire plots

Ross William Ulbricht

Ross William Ulbricht

The San Francisco man charged with running a billion-dollar online drug market known as Silk Road allegedly showed little remorse after paying $80,000 to have a hit man kill a former employee of the website, according to a federal indictment.

The February hit reportedly never happened because 29-year-old Ross William Ulbricht unwittingly hired an undercover FBI agent.

However, details revealed in a federal indictment in Maryland suggest that Ulbricht wasn’t about to lose sleep over the dead employee, who he had feared would “give up info.” The identity of the FBI agent was not revealed, thus Ulbricht was reportedly under the assumption the hit took place.

“I’m pissed I had to kill him…but what’s done is done…I just wish more people had some integrity,” Ulbricht allegedly wrote to the agent after the agent sent him staged photos of a tortured and murdered victim.

Initially, the indictment alleges, Ulbricht told the agent to beat up the employee, but changed his mind, saying he “never killed a man or had one killed before, but it is the right move in this case.”

It wasn’t the only time Ulbricht would hire someone to kill for the good of Silk Road, which offered illegal services as well as drugs, the indictment said.

In March, Ulbricht reportedly solicited a Silk Road user to carry out a $150,000 murder-for-hire of a Canadian drug dealer. The dealer had reportedly threatened to release the identities of thousands of other sellers and buyers on the website unless Ulbricht forked over $500,000.

In the end, it wasn’t a former employee that brought down Silk Road, but Ulbricht himself, authorities said.

The 29-year-old was arrested Tuesday at the Glen Park Branch Library after investigators apparently linked his personal email address to the website.

— Staff, wire reportBay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsFBIRoss William UlbrichtSilk Road

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

Just Posted

Dave Hodges, pastor at Zide Door, the Church of Entheogenic Plants that include marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms, holds some psychedelic mushrooms inside the Oakland church on Friday, July 22, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Psychedelic spirituality: Inside a growing Bay Area religious movement

‘They are guiding us into something ineffable’

A former inmate and a sheriff’s deputy are among the first four members chosen to serve on the newly created Sheriff’s Department Oversight Board. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Years after fight club scandal, Sheriff’s oversight board takes shape

‘We want to promote law enforcement best practices’

More than a thousand people gathered in front of the California Capitol building to protest Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay at home order and demand that the state re-open on May 1, 2020. (Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters)
Newsom blames ‘right-wing pundits’ for COVID surge

By Emily Hoeven CalMatters Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday placed the blame… Continue reading

Strong California revenues will allow the state to commit to offering no-cost food to every student. (Amanda Mills/Pixnio)
How California plans to offer free daily meals to 6 million public school students

By Ali Tadayon EdSource With one in every six children facing hunger… Continue reading

Most Read