Just a month before leaving the DEA, Force created a Bitcoin speculation company called Engedi, LLC—a Biblical reference to a particular oasis. Force seems to have a predilection for nods to the Bible: he created the online persona "Nob," who became a confidante of Ulbricht. Nob is the location in ancient Israel where David receives the sword of Goliath.
On Tuesday, Wired published an extensive feature on Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht’s rise and fall, which contains some new details surrounding the government-orchestrated fake execution of a SilkRoad lieutenant, Curtis Green, better known as “chronic pain.”
As Ars reported at the end of the trial in February, Ulbricht was found guilty of seven charges including three drug counts: distributing or aiding and abetting the distribution of narcotics, distributing narcotics or aiding and abetting distribution over the Internet, and conspiracy to violate narcotics laws. His sentencing hearing is currently scheduled for May 15, 2015 in federal court in New York.
Wired detailed how one day in January 2013 Green received a controlled delivery of a package in the mail—it turned out to be cocaine. [UPDATE Wednesday 11:21am CT: After being corrected by Coriolanus, a reader, and reviewing the relevant court documents, Ars has corrected our original language, which had stated that this was an "unexpected delivery," rather than one that was allowed to pass through by the relevant authorities.]
As soon as Green opened the package, a SWAT team stormed him and threw him to the ground, his two chihuahuas yapping around him. He immediately pleaded with the agents to not send him to prison, deathly afraid of Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR): “This guy’s got millions. He could have me killed.”
Green’s bust was orchestrated by Carl Force, a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent. Working undercover, Force passed himself off as “Nob,” or Eladio Guzman, a “cartel operative” who e-mailed DPR in April 2012:
Mr. Silk Road,Ulbricht began wondering what had happened to Green when he stopped responding to messages and eventually figured out that he had been arrested (and later released on bail). When $350,000 in bitcoins went missing and were attributed to Green, Ulbricht went ballistic and started telling various confidantes (including Force, as “Nob”) that he needed some “muscle” to take care of Green.
I am a great admirer of your work. Brilliant, utterly brilliant! I will keep this short and to the point. I want to buy the site. I’ve been in the business for over 20 years. SILK ROAD is the future of trafficking.
It didn’t take long for Force, who controlled Green’s computer, to determine exactly who Green was. Soon after contemplating suicide, Green was willing to cooperate with the authorities.
As Wired reported:
Force got Green to sign a waiver, thereby commencing his role in an impromptu staged torture sting against DPR. Soon Green was being dunked in the bathtub of a Marriott suite by phony thugs who were in fact a Secret Service agent and a Baltimore postal inspector. Force recorded the action on a camera. “Did you get it?” Green asked, wet and wheezing on the floor. He’d felt like their simulation was a little too accurate. They dunked him four more times to get a convincing shot...........................................
www.myinforms.com/ en/ a/ 12079183-silk-road-boss-first-murder-attempt-was-his-mentors-idea/
The allegation that the Silk Road’s Dread Pirate Roberts attempted to pay for six murders has loomed over the story of that massive online drug market. How could the pseudonymous figure preaching non-violent, libertarian ideals stoop to commissioning the paid killings of half a dozen people? Now a newly revealed chat log from the case […] The post Silk Road Boss’ First Murder Attempt Was His Mentor’s Idea appeared first on…
Now a newly revealed chat log from the case sheds light on how the first of those paid murder attempts appears to have arisen. The logs show it was not the creator of the Silk Road who first suggested enlisting the services of a hit man, but rather his top advisor and mentor.
Earlier this week, a trove of new records from the Silk Road pre-trial hearings was unsealed, including logs of January 2013 instant-message conversations that prosecutors say were pulled from the laptop of Ross Ulbricht at the time of his arrest. In February, Ulbricht was convicted of being the Dread Pirate Roberts, Silk Road’s creator and owner. But the recorded conversations, along with the other sealed documents, had been kept secret throughout Ulbricht’s trial earlier this year to avoid compromising an investigation that led to the arrest Monday of two federal agents on corruption charges.
In the 21-page IM chat log, which occurred over the anonymous IM service Torchat, the Silk Road’s Dread Pirate Roberts carries out conversations with his staffer Inigo, a supposed drug-dealing associate named Nob (who we now know was actually undercover DEA agent Carl Force), and a figure named Cimon, also known as Variety Jones, whom Ulbricht had described in his journal as his “mentor” and advisor. The conversations revolve around $350,000 worth of bitcoin that had been stolen from the Silk Road, which Dread Pirate Roberts and Inigo believed had been taken by Silk Road staffer Curtis Clark Green. (In fact, it seems the bitcoins had been allegedly stolen by rogue Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges, using Green’s account—one of the criminal charges for which Bridges was arrested Monday.)
As they’re presented by the prosecution, the chat logs seem to show for the first time how the Dread Pirate Roberts is persuaded to commission Green’s murder. And he’s convinced not by a federal agent seeking to entrap him in the act, but by Cimon, his own trusted mentor and advisor. That initial step into the use of violence to protect his interests and the Silk Road would eventually lead Roberts to pay for five more murders.
(A quick side note: In the chat logs below, I’ve identified the Silk Road’s boss as the Dread Pirate Roberts. Though Ulbricht was convicted in February of being the Silk Road’s creator and leader, he was never charged with murder, and these logs were never presented at trial. Ulbricht’s defense attorney Joshua Dratel has said he’s still seeking a new trial for his client, in part due to the new corruption charges brought against the two federal agents investigating the Silk Road. “Our position, as it has always been, is that Ross is not DPR who is participating in those chats,” Dratel tells WIRED.)
The chain of conversations that leads to the attempted murder of Green begins when Inigo alerts the Dread Pirate Roberts to the Silk Road’s massive bitcoin theft. Roberts responds that he’s “sick to his stomach.”
“This will be the first time I have had to call on my muscle,” he adds. “fucking sucks.”
Later the same day, Roberts chats with Nob, who he believes to be a high-volume drug dealer who can help provide that “muscle” to find Green and recover the bitcoins. Roberts, after all, kept a copy of all his employees’ actual IDs to prevent the sort of betrayal he believed Green had committed, so he knows Green’s Utah address.
But in that conversation with Nob, it’s clear Roberts has no intention of killing Green, or even beating him up if it can be avoided.
Only later, when Roberts checks in with his advisor Cimon, does the question of murder arise. As Roberts explains how Green might have stolen the funds, Cimon interrupts. “Enough about the theft,” he says. “Tell me about the organ donor.”
A few minutes later, he brings up the idea of killing more explicitly. “As a side note, at what point in time do we decide we’ve had enough of someones shit, and terminate them?” Cimon writes. “Like, does impersonating a vendor to rip off a mid-level drug lord, using our rep and system; follows up by stealing from our vendors and clients and breeding fear and mistrust, does that come close in yer opinion?”
“Terminate?” Roberts asks tentatively. “Execute?”