Pando

Judge says alleged Silk Road founder can't be held responsible for every bad thing that happened on the platform

By Paul Bradley Carr , written on December 19, 2014

From The News Desk

As the trial of alleged Silk Road founder, Ross Ulbricht, gets closer, a federal judge has ruled on what federal prosecutors can and cannot bring up in court.

According to Court House News, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest has ruled that Ulbricht can be accused of culpability in the site's trade in drugs and fake IDs but that it's unreasonable to blame him for all of Silk Road's illegal trading.

"I want to say to the government that I'm troubled by the breadth of your theory on the nature of your conspiracy," she said. She explained that the indictment lumps a wide range of wares - from narcotics to knockoff Gucci belts to counterfeit currencies and more - under the same alleged plot. "I find that extraordinarily broad," she said.
The judge said that evidence could be used showing Ulbricht allegedly attempted to hire a hitman via the service, but prosecutors  cannot hold him responsible for other people trading in guns and ammunition.  "You have quite a story, without all of that," Forrest said.

Finally, Forrest ruled that Ulbricht's avowed libertarian politics was not relevant to the trial:

"Whether you like the politics or don't like the politics is totally irrelevant to whether the government has met its burden of proof," she said.
The trial kicks off early in the new year. Here's the Grand Jury indictment in full:

Dread Pirate Roberts indictment