A man, Ross William Ulbricht, has been arrested and charged with being the operator of the “Silk Road” Tor hidden service, which was a marketplace dealing mostly in illegal objects and substances.
The court document is absolutely fascinating, and gives many interesting details of Silk Road’s operation. One tale in particular caught my eye, detailed on pages 21-23. The FBI agent who wrote this document knows how to tell a good story.
A user called FriendlyChemist on Silk Road threatened to reveal the identities of thousands of Silk Road users (which he had obtained by hacking a vendor), unless he was paid $500,000, which he needed to pay off his drugs suppliers.
DPR asked FriendlyChemist to get those suppliers to contact him. A user called redandwhite appeared, saying he was representing the people concerned. DPR first tried to recruit him as a Silk Road vendor, and then (when FriendlyChemist persisted in his threats) hired redandwhite to kill FriendlyChemist for a sum of $150,000, passing on his name and address (in White Rock, British Columbia, Canada). Later, redandwhite messaged back to say “Rest easy, though, because he won’t be blackmailing anyone again. Ever.” He even provided a photo as proof.
The end of FriendlyChemist? Perhaps not. The court document goes on to say: “Canadian law enforcement authorities … have no record of there being any Canadian resident with the name DPR passed to redandwhite as the target of the solicited murder-for-hire. Nor do they have any record of a homicide occurring in White Rock, BC, on or about March 31, 2013.”
Looks like DPR may have been the subject of a beautifully-executed sting…