A US court has ruled that Ross Ulbricht is 'Dread Pirate Roberts', the founder of the notorious Silk Road cyber black market.
Preet Bharara, US attorney for the southern district of New York, revealed that a jury unanimously found Ulbricht guilty on seven counts.
"As a unanimous jury has found, Ross William Ulbricht operated Silk Road, a clandestine global marketplace that offered buyers and sellers of illegal goods and services a promise of anonymity," he said.
These include one count of distributing narcotics, one of distributing narcotics by means of the internet, one of conspiring to distribute narcotics, and one of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise.
The court also found Ulbricht guilty on one count of conspiring to commit computer hacking, one of conspiring to traffic in false identity documents and one of conspiring to commit money laundering.
He will be sentenced on 15 May, and could face a 20-year prison sentence.
Ulbricht has consistently denied that he is Dread Pirate Roberts, admitting that he helped to create the Silk Road but is actually the "fall guy" for the real criminal mastermind behind the scheme.
Silk Road was shut down by the FBI in October 2013. The dark web site was accessible only through the Tor network, and was known to facilitate trade in illegal substances such as class A drugs.
The site also offered tutorials on a variety of illegal activities, such as how to make explosives and hack into ATMs, and provided contact information for hitmen.
Silk Road took payments for services in the cryptographic bitcoin currency. The court filing said that the site generated sales of more than 9.5 million bitcoins (£739m) before being shut down.
Ulbricht is believed to have accrued over $13m by running the site.
It is still unclear how law enforcement tracked Silk Road's systems, although it is believed that the FBI used a leaky anti-abuse Captcha tool to find the servers' geographic location.
Bharara said that Ulbricht's prosecution should act as a warning to criminals operating on the dark web.
"Ulbricht's arrest and conviction, and our seizure of millions of dollars of Silk Road bitcoins, should send a clear message to anyone else attempting to operate an online criminal enterprise. The supposed anonymity of the dark web is not a protective shield from arrest and prosecution," he said.
Shutting down illegal dark web services such as Silk Road has been a growing focus of law enforcement.
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