Following a guilty verdict in Manhattan federal court earlier this afternoon, 30-year-old San Francisco web developer Ross Ulbricht faces life in prison.
As Bloomberg reports, prosecutors successfully argued that Ulbricht ran the $1.2 billion online black market known as "The Silk Road" under the alias "Dread Pirate Roberts" from 2011 until 2013 when he was arrested at a San Francisco library.
The jury deliberated for just over three hours before finding Ulbricht guilty of all seven federal charges. Those included trafficking drugs on the Internet, narcotics-trafficking conspiracy, running a continuing criminal enterprise, computer-hacking conspiracy and money-laundering conspiracy. Ulbricht's defense allowed for the fact that he founded The Silk Road, but claimed he did not run it for long and was not the "real" Dread Pirate Roberts.
Ulbricht didn't face murder solicitation charges, although evidence was presented to jurors that he paid a man claiming to be a Hells Angel $150,000 to kill a Silk Road user threatening to extort Ulbricht. The evidence was used to demonstrate his connection to the Silk Road, and it's not suspected that a murder took place.
He now faces a minimum 20-year sentence. His sentencing hearing will come in May.
Agents in the trial testified to having found Ulbricht's online chat transcripts, Silk Road maintenance logs, and damning to-do lists. Before the trial, a judge rejected requests from Ulbricht to bar electronic evidence seized from his laptop. His Gmail and Facebook accounts and information from a Silk Road computer server located in Iceland were also deemed admissible.
A new documentary coming out later this year argues that the case that was built against Ulbricht was done so via illegal hacking, and the verdict will "set a lasting precedent for how the Fourth Amendment works in the digital age."
Susie Cagle, who has been covering and illustrating the trial for Forbes, left us with this drawing.
Previously: There Will Be A Silk Road Movie