Ross Ulbricht, the jailed founder one of the Dark Net’s first black marketplaces, Silk Road, has written to longtime Bitcoiner and Bitcoin Cash founder Roger Ver to appeal for his help in getting a presidential pardon.
Ulbricht, 34, was sentenced in 2015 to two life terms plus forty years without a chance of parole for running Silk Road.
The creation of the Silk Road website and marketplace was reportedly informed by Ulbricht’s libertarian politics. “I want to use economic theory as a means to abolish the use of coercion and aggression amongst mankind,” Ulbricht wrote on his LinkedIn page.
In practice, the website specialized mainly in providing an anonymous marketplace for drugs, although guns and hitman services were also sold there, along with date rape drugs.
Ulbricht may have further referred to his activities on Silk Road at LinkedIn as follows:
“I am creating an economic simulation to give people a first-hand experience of what it would be like to live in a world without the systemic use of force.”
Ulbricht became the focus of an investigation by the American Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in mid-2013 after he was reportedly linked to the site by an IRS investigator.
He was arrested at the Glen Park library in San Francisco in October of that year and has been in prison since.
During the course of the investigation, two DEA agents are alleged to have plotted to entrap Ulbricht.
The two agents, Carl Force and Shaun Bridges, have since been jailed for corrupt practices they committed while on the case, including the theft of Bitcoins.
During the investigation, the DEA agents managed to convince Ulbricht that his associate, Curtis Green, had stolen Bitcoins from the site.
They then offered to beat up and then kill Green on Ulbricht’s behalf, something the agents say Ulbricht agreed to.
Ulbricht has denied those actions.
He lost his final chance to appeal his sentence in June of this year, meaning the only way he can be released now is by presidential pardon.
Ulbricht has an active support committee called Free Ross and about 94 500 people have signed a petition calling for his release at freeross.org.
Ulbricht has now written to prominent crypto coiner Ver for support, and Ver opened and read Ulbircht’s letter live in a video taken December 23rd.
Ver then issued the following appeal:
“As I’ve been saying from day one: People own themselves and they have the absolute right to put whatever they want in their own body and its the police, judges and law enforcement agents that want to put people in jail for…trying to make themselves happy?”
“The United States Constitution is supposed to guarantee people the right to the pursuit of happiness…people use drugs to pursue happiness through biochemical means. I don’t partake myself…but I should be able to with my own body and so should everybody else.”
“I would love to invite everybody to go sign the petition at freeross.org. I signed it…The war on drugs is a war on your neighbour…its a war on all of us…Of course, I want Ross to be given a pardon and let out of jail but not just Ross. Every single non-violent drug offender should be pardoned and let out of jail…”
“I’m not a fan of politicians in general at all, but, boy if there ever was a politician that seems to do what he thinks is right and doesn’t care about the mainstream opinion its Donald Trump.”
“So Donald, if you happen to watch this, please pardon not only Ross Ulbricbht but every single non-violent drug offender in the entire country…”
The American Libertarian Party also threw its support behind Ulbricht by passing a resolution calling for his release at the party’s annual convention in July, when party chairperson Darryl Perry characterized Ross as a political prisoner.