Accused Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht has been found guilty on all charges on the first day of jury deliberations.
Ulbricht, alleged by the US government to be the so-called Dread Pirate Roberts behind the now-defunct online black marketplace, was ruled guilty on a total of seven charges, which include narcotics trafficking on the Internet, conspiracy to commit money laundering and computer hacking.
The jury received initial instructions on 4th February, and reached a verdict after three and a half hours of deliberation.
The verdict marks the beginning of a new phase in Ulbricht’s long legal battle with the US government, which, according to courtroom reports, moved aggressively to oppose various aspects of the defense’s case in recent days.
Ulbricht’s legal team, spearheaded by lead counsel Joshua Dratel, painted him as the fall man for the real person behind the Silk Road operation.
While acknowledging that Ulbricht created Silk Road, the defense built its case that around the idea that the another Dread Pirate Roberts was responsible for the crimes with which Ulbricht was charged, suggesting at one point that Mt Gox CEO Mark Karpeles was the real force behind the Silk Road black market.
Strong response to outcome
The verdict sparked strong rebukes from Ulbricht supporters across social media channels, and reports indicate that the verdict was opposed by some of those in the court room today.
After the verdict was read in Ulbricht trial, a man in the back of the courtroom shouted “Ross is a hero.” #SilkRoadTrial
— ChristopherMMatthews (@cmatthews9) February 4, 2015
Others expressed concern about the broader development of the trial and whether or not the defense's case was unfairly derailed by government prosecutors.
Ulbricht, who faces life in prison, now awaits sentencing.