FBI Reports Underground Drug Market - KMSP-TV

FBI Reports Underground Drug Market

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The FBI says they've broken-up a massive, on-line drug market. Not only did the business reap millions for its alleged mastermind he has a history here in Pennsylvania

Ross William Ulbricht earned a graduate degree from Penn State in May of 2009 from the school of material science and engineering.

His link to the state university prompted a public relations worker to become testy when I called to confirm his degree.

This is perhaps understandable considering the 29-year-old may go down as the pioneer of a sophisticated, underground black-market web business.

Ross William Ulbricht, seen in his linked-in and Google plus accounts, was the mastermind, of a sprawling black-market web enterprise known as Silk Road.

Silk Road is an underground bazaar that may have generated a billion dollars in transactions in illegal drugs and services.

It was a business that relied on programs that cloak web-transactions in anonymity, and rely on digital money known as bit coins.

Michael Nelson is a computer consultant.

"I think it's starting to become more and more popular especially as services get better--like TOR. which protects ID's on line and keeps things anonymous--they're becoming popular and easier to use," Nelson said.

The Feds scooped-up Ulbricht Tuesday when they burst into a Northern California library cuffed him and hauled him off.

He's charged in New York with running Silk Road, where users could buy drugs and stimulants.

Ulbricht was more than a black market tycoon claims the FBI.

The FBI allege he wired 80,000 to an undercover agent for the torture and murder of an employee whom he feared would expose his alias Dead Pirate Roberts and his digital drug trade.

Consultant Nelson says this is the underground web in its infancy.

"I do think we will continue to see things that'll probably be more sophisticated than this, "Nelson said. " I think it is only going to continue to evolve as technology gets better. I think this will be the new marketplace as things continue to grow. "

The FBI says Silk Road charged an 8 to 15 percent commission on each deal.

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