A Mormon grandfather in Utah has just published a memoire detailing his involvement with and the subsequent take down of notorious Dark Net marketplace Silk Road, KSL reports.
The book, called Silk Road Takedown, is a saga of drugs, faked beatings and corrupt officers that may shortly be turned into a movie by the Coen brothers.
Curtis Green says he got involved with Silk Road after becoming interested in Bitcoin in 2011.
He began mining the coins, and says that led him to Silk Road, an underground digital marketplace often referred to as “the Amazon of the Dark Net.
Silk Road was possibly the Internet’s first black market. There, interested parties bought and sold everything from drugs to guns to hitman services for Bitcoins.
Green says that, at first, he mainly participated in Silk Road forums, where he gave technical advice and medical advice regarding drug use
His evident technical skills led to him being offered a position as an administrator on the site, where he began managing customer passwords.
Silk Road was the brainchild of Ross Ulbricht, who went by the moniker Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR) and who is currently serving two life sentences plus forty years with no chance of parol in an American prison.
Ulbricht’s imprisonment is opposed by many libertarians and Bitcoiners, and Green says, “The DPR that I knew was a benevolent, intelligent, smart human being.”
But Green allegedly ran afoul of Ulbricht after Silk Road came up in Congress and then came under the scrutiny of several American law enforcement agencies.
Green says a federal agent posing as a drug dealer contacted Ulbricht, who provided Green’s address in Utah.
Someone then sent a kilo of cocaine to Green’s house in Utah. Green, who says he was totally unaware of the package’s contents, accepted the package, brought it into his house, and opened it.
He says cocaine billowed out onto his face, and that within minutes, agents were pounding on his door.
He was arrested and questioned, and as part of an agreement to cooperate fully with investigators, provided all his Silk Road passwords and admin account information.
Green says that someone connected with the investigation then logged into the accounts and framed him for the theft of half a million dollars in bitcoins.
The agents handling Green then told him that, incensed about the theft, Ulbricht had hired them to “beat up” Green.
“They decided to waterboard me, fake waterboarding, ” Green told KSL. “Dunk me in the water and kind of look like I was beat up. And it was very realistic. It was a little too realistic.”
Photos of the beating were sent to Ulbricht, whom the agents said then asked them to kill Green.
Faked pictures of a “murdered” Green were then sent to Ulbricht, and Green was asked to hide in his house as the investigation of Ulbricht proceeded.
All told, Green eventually pleaded guilty to the cocaine charges but says he only did so to end the “hell” he was going through.
Two secret service agents involved with the Green investigation, Carl Force and Shaun Bridges, have since been jailed for corrupt practices they committed while on the case.
“Two people that are deceitful criminals,” Green said, “and here they were part of the government.”
Green says he was spared jail time for what he went through with the corrupt officers and for cooperating.
He still lives with his wife and the grandchild they are raising in Utah.
“All I can do is apologize, make sure I don’t make the same mistakes twice, and move forward,” he said.
electronic pathway into a criminal empire that was all but invisible to most people.