Silk Road mastermind gets life in prison for drug, conspiracy crimes

Fortune

Ross Ulbricht was an Eagle Scout and a popular physics student who made a fateful decision to reinvent himself as the “Dread Pirate Roberts,” a pseudonym he used to operate a massive illegal online bazaar known as the Silk Road. It came crashing down hard on Friday as a federal judge in Manhattan sentenced Ulbricht to serve the rest of his life in prison, following his earlier conviction on seven charges related to conspiracy, narcotics and money-laundering.

The punishment is surprisingly harsh, exceeding even what the prosecutors had proposed. Ulbricht, who had earlier implored the judge to “please leave my old age,” can appeal the sentence, though that would be a long shot.

“You were the captain of the ship as Dread Pirate Roberts, and you enforced the law as you see fit,” U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest told Ulbricht in imposing the sentence.

Forrest issued the sentence after Ulbricht…

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