Ross Ulbricht, the creator of Silk Road an online black market for drugs and other illegal goods, will remain in prison for life after the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in New York upheld his 2015 life sentence on Wednesday.
Ulbrichrt, who allegedly used the name Dread Pirate Roberts to run his enterprise, was sentenced to life in prison in 2015 by U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest in Manhattan, TechCrunch noted. He was found guilty on seven charges, including engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, narcotics conspiracy, and money laundering.
Ulbricht's attorneys charged that the IP addresses connected to the case were gathered without a warrant and violated their client's Fourth Amendment rights, TechCrunch reported Wednesday. His defense said the life sentence was also unreasonable, according to USA Today.
Judge Gerard Lynch wrote in a 139-page ruling, according to USA Today, that Forrest "gave Ulbricht's sentence the thorough consideration that it required, reviewing the voluminous sentencing submissions, analyzing the factors required by law, and carefully weighing Ulbricht's mitigating legal arguments. Under the law, we cannot say that its decision was substantively unreasonable."
At the time of the sentencing, federal prosecutors called Silk Road the "most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet, serving as a sprawling black-market bazaar where unlawful goods and services, including illegal drugs of virtually all varieties, were bought and sold regularly by the site's users."
Prosecutors said in a statement that Silk Road was used by thousands of drug dealers and other unlawful vendors to distribute large amounts of illegal drugs and other unlawful goods and services to more than 100,000 buyers.
Authorities also claimed that Silk Road helped launder hundreds of millions of dollars from those illegal transactions, according to a Justice Department statement.
"There must be no doubt that lawlessness will not be tolerated," Forrest said during the original sentencing, according to the Justice Department statement. "There must be no doubt that no one is above the law — no matter one’s education or privileges. All stand equal before the law. There must be no doubt that you cannot run a massive criminal enterprise and because it occurred over the Internet minimize the crime committed on that basis."
According to Crunchbase.com, Ulbricht was an owner of Good Wagon Books and donated 10 percent of his gross earnings to a group that mentors inner city youth; and donated leftover books to a prison literacy program.
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