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Calif. man charged in black market drug scheme

October 3, 2013 • National News


This frame grab from the Silk Road website shows thumbnails for a product allegedly available through the site. On Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, FBI agents arrested Ross William Ulbricht, who is accused of operating the secret website, which is believed to have brokered more than $1 billion in transactions for illegal drugs and services. (AP Photo/silkroaddrugs.org)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — FBI agents found him in the science fiction section of a small branch of the San Francisco public library, chatting online.

The man known as Dread Pirate Roberts — 29-year-old Ross William Ulbricht — was on his personal laptop Tuesday afternoon, authorities said, talking about the vast black market bazaar that is believed to have brokered more than $1 billion in transactions for illegal drugs and services.

When a half-dozen FBI agents burst into the library in a quiet, blue-collar neighborhood, they abruptly ended Ulbricht’s conversation with a cooperating witness, pinned the Austin, Texas, native to a floor-to-ceiling window and then took him off to jail, law enforcement and library spokeswomen said.

Ulbricht was later charged in criminal complaints in federal courts in New York and Maryland. He’s accused of making millions of dollars operating the secret Silk Road website and of a failed murder-for-hire scheme, all while living anonymously with two roommates whom he paid Login to read more

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