Alleged drug kinpin behind Silk Road site ordered hit on B.C. dad: docs
The U.S. man accused of running a billion-dollar Internet drug empire is also suspected of hiring a hit-man to murder a White Rock father-of-three, according to court documents.
Ross William Ulbricht, a 29-year-old engineer, was arrested Tuesday in connection with the website Silk Road, an online black market where users could buy and sell illegal drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy with the virtual currency Bitcoin.
Police spent two years investigating the suspected drug kingpin, and earlier this year believe Ulbritcht was the victim of a $500,000 extortion attempt by a Metro Vancouver man.
Documents filed by the FBI allege the White Rock resident threatened to expose Ulbricht’s activities online in March, giving him 72 hours to pay up or risk the release of 500 user details and about two dozen vendor identities.
It’s believed the man, identified only by his username “Friendly Chemist,” needed the money to pay off drug debts.
According to the documents, Ulbricht instead contacted an assassin and negotiated a price of 1,670 Bitcoins – the equivalent of about $150,000 in U.S. cash – to take out the blackmailer.
He later asked for and received a digital photo of the body for verification, authorities claim.
However, the FBI said investigators contacted Canadian police and found no record of the target’s name in the country. There is also no record of a murder in White Rock on the date of the alleged hit, according to the documents.
The RCMP won’t speak to the case or comment on what assistance it offered the FBI.
The Silk Road website is now offline and Ulbricht, who was arrested in the San Francisco public library, remains in custody.
None of the allegations against him have been proven in court.
With files from CTV British Columbia’s Lisa Rossington and The Associated Press