Federal Agents in Silk Road Case Charged

Silk Road was a website selling illegal narcotics

SAN FRANCISCO—The charges against two former federal agents were filed in a San Francisco federal court. Both agents belonged to a Baltimore-based task force that investigated the Silk Road website. Silk Road was an online black market where illegal drugs were sold. The market was built to allow users to browse anonymously with no possible tracking.

On October 2, 2013 the founder of the market, Ross William Ulbricht, was arrested at San Francisco Glen Park Library. He faces 30 years in prison and will be sentenced on May 15, 2015.

Two former agents, who worked undercover in the Silk Road investigation, might also be sentenced to jail.

On Friday, March 27, one of the agents, Carl M. Force, was arrested in Baltimore. A detention hearing is set for Thursday, April 2.

Force was a special agent in Baltimore with the Drug Enforcement Administration. As an agent, he was assigned to present undercover operations and was the main investigator who communicated with Ulbricht.

According to the criminal complaint, Force engaged in illegal activities using fake unauthorized online personas that he developed overtime. Due to such activities, Force stole digital currency and obtained financial gain. He is also accused in an attempt to get money from Ulbricht in exchange of not providing info about the website to federal investigators.

The other federal agent, Shaun W. Bridges, was a special agent with the U.S. Secret Services. On March 30, he appeared in federal court in San Francisco and was released on bond. He allegedly stole $820,000 in digital currency and transferred it to his personal account.   

Both men are charged with wire fraud and money laundering. Force, in addition, is charged with theft of government property and conflict of interests.