Prosecutors Seek 7-Year Sentence for Corrupt Silk Road DEA Agent

An ex-DEA agent who went rogue during the Silk Road investigation faces sentencing this Monday.

AccessTimeIconOct 15, 2015 at 8:37 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 11:57 a.m. UTC
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Carl Force IV, the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agent who pled guilty this summer to charges of extortion, money laundering and obstruction of justice, is set to be sentenced this Monday.

Working as part of a federal task force investigating the Silk Road, Force went rogue amidst the US government’s investigation of the now-defunct online dark market. He pled guilty in July.

The sentencing hearing is set for 2 PM PST on 19th October at the US District Court for the Northern District of California, presided by Judge Richard Seeborg.

The government has asked the court to impose a prison sentence of 87 months, or seven years and three months, as well as three years of supervised release.

According to court documents, the defense plans to ask for a sentence beneath statutory guidelines on the grounds that Force suffered from mental health issues during the period in which he committed the crimes – a basis the government disputed in its filing.

The defense filed a motion to have Force’s sentence reduced under seal on 9th October, the same day the government filed its sentencing memorandum. A representative for Bates & Garcia, the law firm representing Force, was not immediately available for comment.

Acting US Attorney Brian Stretch wrote in the government’s filing that Force "abused the public trust and tarnished the reputation of law enforcement in the process" and that he does not deserve leniency. He later wrote that Force’s actions were reputationally damaging for US law enforcement, stating:

"In providing the defendant with a gun and a badge, the government entrusted him to act in a manner consistent with standards becoming a sworn law enforcement officer, namely to protect and serve the public. Conduct like Force’s undermines public confidence in law enforcement and threatens the credibility of the entire criminal justice system."

The filing goes on to outline how the court ought to act in a bid to deter other forms of government corruption, stating that any sentence "should send a message that this kind of conduct will be met with a harsh penalty in the form of a high-end prison sentence".

"Other government employees will look to what sentence Force gets as an example of what could happen to them if they were to betray the public trust," Stretch wrote. "The message, accordingly, must be that this kind of conduct will result in a very lengthy custodial sentence."

Former US Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges, who pled guilty to charges of money laundering and obstruction of justice in August, faces sentencing on 7th December.

The US government’s sentencing memorandum can be found below:

Court room image via Shutterstock


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