U.S. District Court in Baltimore, Md. sentenced a Utah man whose faked murder helped law enforcement put an end to the Silk Road Marketplace, according to The Baltimore Sun. The court sentenced Curtis Clark Green, a senior administrator for the Silk Road website, to time served — two days — and four years of supervised release for his role in running the site. Green, 50 was awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
Green’s attorney, Scott Williams, said Silk Road owner Ross Ulbricht took advantage of Green, who he characterized as gentle and kind-hearted. Williams said Green’s life was put at risk by corrupt federal agents who blamed him for their corrupt actions and did little to protect him. Williams said he was not surprised the judge and the U.S. Attorney felt Green had been through enough.
Police Rearrest Shaun Bridges
Meanwhile, police arrested Shaun Bridges at his home Thursday after finding him with a bag containing corporate records for three offshore accounts, a bulletproof vest and a passport. Bridges is a former Secret Service agent who pleaded guilty to stealing hundreds of thousands in digital currency while working on the Silk Road case.
He was scheduled to turn himself in Friday to start to serve a 71-month sentence in a New Hampshire minimum-security prison.
Bridges and Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Carl Mark Force each received more than 70 months for stealing hundreds of thousands in digital currency while working on the case undercover.
The Case Against Green, a Silk Road Admin
Law enforcement arrested Green in 2013 as part of a cross-country investigation leading to the seizure of tens of millions of dollars in assets and arrests on three continents.
Green worked as a Silk Road administrator resolving disputes between sellers and buyers. Authorities identified him after sending a kilogram of cocaine to his home. Green agreed to talk to the Baltimore Silk Road Task Force.
Agents identified the site’s administrator by his alias, “Dread Pirate Roberts.” They infiltrated his inner circle. The arrest of Jacob Theodore George IV who sold heroin and imported Chinese methylone on Silk Road provided agents inside access to the site.
Silk Road suffered a series of “sizable thefts” of currency connected with Green’s account after he was debriefed, according to court records. Green denied any involvement. The theft was later traced.
Task Force Fakes Murder
Before the discovery of the theft, Dread Pirate Roberts contacted Force about commissioning Green’s murder. Dread Pirate Roberts wired $80,000 to Force to kill Green, authorities said. Task force members then faked Green’s death.
Bridges is a former Anne Arundel County public schools martial arts instructor and Maryland state trooper. He admitted he stole $350,000 worth of bitcoin which grew to $800,000 in value. Robert L. Ehrlich, a former governor, wrote a character letter on Bridge’s behalf seeking leniency.
Despite pleading guilty, Bridges might have intended to escape his prison sentence by fleeing the country along with some of his wealth, according to Wired. A prosecutor filing in the Northern District of California indicated the agents who arrested Bridges found him with a cell phone, documents relating to his wife’s citizenship application in a foreign country, and corporate records of at least three offshore entities in Mauritius, Nevis and Belize. Agents also found a MacBook with the serial number scratched off and bulletproof vests that prosecutors say Bridges stole from the Secret Service.
Prosecutors said the evidence indicates Bridges did not intend to report to prison as promised. They indicated there was additional evidence not yet revealed.
Steve Levin, Bridges’ attorney, said Bridges was detained at his home.
Ulbricht’s Lawyers File Appeal
Ulbricht received a life sentence following a trial in New York City.
Last month, Ulbricht’s defense team filed an appeal brief focusing in part on Bridges and Force. Ulbricht’s lawyers wrote they were never informed of the accusations against Bridges until Ulbricht was convicted, even though the defense was informed of the sealed charges against Force and ordered to keep them confidential so as not to upset the investigation.
Featured image from Shutterstock.