Convicted Silk Road operator Ross Ulbricht faces life in prison at a sentencing hearing tomorrow in New York.

The end of the trial comes more than a year and a half after Ulbricht’s legal battle with the US government first began. Ulbricht was found guilty in February of narcotics, computer hacking and conspiracy charges in connection with his operation of the Silk Road black market.

As reported by Wired, prosecutors asked the court earlier this week that Ulbricht be given “a lengthy sentence” to dissuade other would-be dark market operators.

“The court thus has an opportunity to send a clear message to anyone tempted to follow his example that the operation of these illegal enterprises comes with severe consequences,” the letter read.

In a separate letter addressed to US District Judge Katherine Forrest, Ulbricht asked to be spared from life in prison, acknowledging the severity of his actions but seeking a degree of leniency.

“I’ve had my youth, and I know you must take away my middle years, but please leave me my old age,” he wrote. “Please leave a small light at the end of the tunnel, an excuse to stay healthy, an excuse to dream of better days and a chance to redeem myself in the free world before I meet my maker.”

Ulbricht’s sentencing hearing is scheduled to take place at 18:00 UTC.

For a complete look at the case history, view our timeline of the Ross Ulbricht legal case below.

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