On the first day of Ross Ulbricht's trial on Tuesday, a lawyer representing the accused who is considered the brain of Silk Road has declared his client's innocence in all charges brought against him.
Prosecutor Joshua Dratel asked if Ulbricht "invented the Silk Road" and for the first time both Dratel and Ross Ulbricht they admitted it without accepting that the accused participated in any criminal activity.
"Ross is not a drug dealer. "Ross has not been involved in any conspiracies," Dratel said in an opening statement.
Dratel also reiterated that, despite his involvement in creating the most malicious online drug market, Ross Ulbricht was not the person behind the nickname "Dread Pirate Roberts."
Ross Ulbricht, according to Dratel's lawyer, had given control of Silk Road to other, unnamed individuals a few months after its creation. Dratel claimed that drug trafficking or other illegal activities that took place on the site after that time had nothing to do with Ulbricht.
As for his capture Ross Ulbricht which took place inside a San Francisco public library in October 2013, Dratel said everything was set up and that his client had been tricked into being "in that library that day."
Assistant Attorney General Timothy Howard, on the other hand, argued that this was all nonsense and that Ulbricht had been caught red-handed. At the time of his arrest, Howard recalled that Ross Ulbricht was online as a Dread Pirate Roberts and chatting with a Silk Road support staff - who just happened to be an FBI undercover detective.
In yesterday's trial, Ulbricht faces four drug charges and one for online piracy, smuggling of counterfeit documents, and a black money laundering conspiracy. Prosecutors are expected to present enough evidence to support the accusations, and much of them will be in the form of testimonies from secret agents who participated in the raid on Silk Road.
For the most serious accusations of the government - that Ulbricht committed murders with hired killers, a new trial will be held in Baltimore, when the New York trial is over.
Ο Ross William Ulbricht, appeared in court dressed in a dark blue jacket, dark pants and looked optimistic. Present in the courtroom were his parents. Lyn's mother, according to information, will appear in a documentary about Ulbricht and Silk Road, which will be called Deep Web.
Outside the courtroom, there were protesters shouting slogans such as "web hosting is not a crime. WTF; ” and "30 years for an honest website?"
According to the Wall Street Journal, during the jury selection process in the morning, several jury candidates told Judge Katherine Forrest that the protesters had given them leaflets urging them to decide that Ulbricht was innocent on moral grounds, even if the evidence that the government will present is sufficient and supports the accusations.
Judge Forrest warned the jury not to see such brochures until a trial was concluded and concluded.