$35 Million in Profits Seized From Silk Road Online Drug Marketplace
Court papers unsealed Friday revealed that federal agents seized a total of $35 million in profits from Silk Road, the online drug marketplace shut down earlier this month.
Federal agents who shut down the website seized virtual currency called bitcoins worth $29 million on computer hardware that allegedly belonged to Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht, who was arrested October 1. They also seized bitcoins worth $5.8 million from the site’s buyers and sellers. Bitcoins are an untraceable digital currency that is available through online currency exchange services.
USA Today reports Ulbricht is charged with money laundering, drug dealing, computer hacking and murder-for-hire in courts in New York and Baltimore.
Silk Road sold illegal drugs including heroin, cocaine, opioid pills, Ecstasy and LSD. The website also sold other illegal items, such as forged documents and untaxed cigarettes. Silk Road could only be accessed by using encryption software called Tor, which shields computers’ IP addresses, allowing people to make purchases anonymously.
The court papers stated Silk Road had almost one million customers and $1.2 billion in sales.