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Alleged Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht denies charges, says lawyer

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Silk Road mosaic
Silk Road mosaic

Ross Ulbricht, the alleged founder of underground marketplace Silk Road, denied his charges in a San Francisco federal court yesterday, via his lawyer. Ulbricht's public defender, Brandon LeBlanc, told reporters outside of court that "We deny all charges and that’s the end of the discussion," according to Bloomberg News.

He added that "We are trying to put together the best bail proposal possible," after the lawyer successfully lobbied Judge Joseph Spero for extra time to put together a bail request. The bail hearing has been postponed until October 9th.

"We are trying to put together the best bail proposal possible."

Earlier this week, the FBI shut down Silk Road and charged Ross Ulbricht. Illegal drugs were available from different sellers on the site, which visitors could only reach through an anonymizing network called Tor. Ulbricht, who the FBI claims is the man behind the site and the pseudonym "Dread Pirate Roberts," was charged with narcotics trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy. The next day he was separately charged in Maryland for drug trafficking and hiring a hitman.

Considering the charges, Assistant US Attorney Randall Luskey told the judge on Friday that the government is against releasing the defendant on bail, adding "No combination of surety will assure community safety or guarantee appearance." Ross Ulbricht's lawyer, Brandon LeBlanc, declined to provide a statement for this article, telling The Verge "I respectfully decline to make any comments about Mr. Ulbricht's case at this time." A legal fund accepting Bitcoin donations has been set up by Mike Gogulski, who earlier founded the Private Manning Support Network to raise money for Chelsea Manning's legal defense.