(Adds comment from Ulbricht's lawyer)
By Nate Raymond
NEW YORK Aug 22 U.S. prosecutors have brought a
trio of new charges against a Texas man accused of creating the
underground online drug marketplace Silk Road.
A new indictment against Ross Ulbricht, 30, filed late on
Thursday in Manhattan federal court, added charges of narcotics
trafficking, distribution of narcotics by means of the Internet,
and conspiracy to traffic in fraudulent identification
The new charges came on top of four other counts previously
asserted by prosecutors: narcotics trafficking conspiracy,
continuing criminal enterprise, computer hacking conspiracy and
money laundering conspiracy.
Ulbricht, who prosecutors said was known online as "Dread
Pirate Roberts," lost his bid to dismiss the earlier charges in
July. He faces trial on Nov. 3.
Prosecutors say Ulbricht owned and operated Silk Road, which
they allege served as a black-market bazaar where drugs and
criminal services like computer hacking and forgeries could be
bought in exchange for the digital currency bitcoin.
The superseding indictment filed on Thursday accused
Ulbricht of personally distributing and aiding in the
distribution of substances containing heroin, cocaine, LSD and
It also accused Ulbricht of engaging in a conspiracy to sell
fake ID documents, such as drivers' licenses and passports, on
Federal authorities shut down Silk Road last year, though a
new Internet marketplace under the same name debuted in
Joshua Dratel, Ulbricht's lawyer, said in a statement the
new charges demonstrated the government's attempt to convert a
single alleged course of conduct into a set of multiple,
The prosecution's goal, he said, was "to improve its chances
of having a jury, overwhelmed by the sheer number of charges,
agree with the government on at least one."
The case is U.S. v. Ulbricht, U.S. District Court, Southern
District of New York, No. 14-cr-00068.
(Editing by Tom Brown and Matthew Lewis)