Ross Ulbricht, the man behind the infamous darknet market Silk Road, has been transferred to a new prison facility.
Leaving his previous detention facility, USP Florence in Colorado, Ulbricht is now reportedly being held at USP Tucson, another high-security facility.
This is not the first time that Ulbricht has been moved from one prison to another, but the current one was recommended by the judge who was in control of the case, Katherine Bolan Forrest.
Although, her primary suggestion was FCI Petersburg, a medium security prison which would have given Ulbricht a safer environment for serving his sentence.
UPS Tucson in Arizona is said to have a high number of sex offenders due to their Sex Offender Management Program, but it holds fewer murderers and violent gang members than the previous prison in which Ulbricht had resided.
The prison facility was Ulbricht’s second choice for permanent prison.
He was previously held in solitary confinement, and then sent for one week in Oklahoma FTC before being transferred to UPS Tucson.
Silk Road and Ross Ulbricht’s Arrest
Ulbricht was arrested in 2013 after he was discovered to be the “Dread Pirate Roberts,” a pseudonym used by the Silk Road’s mysterious creator.
Silk Road was an extensive darknet market where vendors could sell drugs and other illegal goods. There were ordinary items on the market as well, such as books, art, clothing and even milk.
The few restrictions on the site included child exploitation material, stolen credit cards and assassination services.
The reason for that is because of Ulbricht’s belief that people should have the right to sell and buy whatever they liked as long as they did not hurt anyone.
The Silk Road website was created in 2011, and it was up and running until Ulbricht’s arrest in 2013. He was reportedly caught after posting his Gmail address online, according to court documents.
During the trial, the defense argued that even though Ulbricht did create the Silk Road, he handed the reins of the site over to someone else who had then committed the crimes Ulbricht was being charged with.
Ulbricht pleaded “not guilty,” but he was charged with computer hacking, money laundering and conspiracy to traffic narcotics by means of the internet.
In May 2015, Ulbricht was sentenced to double life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, plus 40 years.
Lyn Ulbricht, Ross Ulbricht’s mother, said that digital evidence can be easily changed or planted.
According to her, anyone getting a life sentence based on digital evidence is a travesty of justice.
She said that the case was corrupted, referring to the fact that two agents—Shaun Bridges and Carl Force—who worked on the case were sentenced for multiple charges.
After the Conviction
During the judicial proceedings, Ulbricht was kept in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York.
After being convicted, he was transferred to USP Florence, a facility for high-risk prisoners in Colorado, also known as the Alcatraz of the Rockies. The prison has housed some of the most violent offenders.
Ulbricht’s mother claimed that the transfer wasn’t made because he is violent, but because of the excessive sentence he was given.
Ulbricht is currently being held in USP Tucson, Arizona.
His mother is hopeful that Ulbricht will be someday moved to a low-security prison, as she describes him as a peaceful and compassionate person, and not at all a dangerous criminal.
The family is currently working on a petition aimed at freeing Ulbricht. At press time, it has gained over 125,000 signatures and counting.
The clemency petition is addressed to U.S. President Donald Trump and is hosted on Change.org, with the request that Ulbricht deserves mercy because of his unfair investigation and trial.