Bail hearing in SF postponed in Silk Road case

A federal judge in San Francisco has postponed the bail hearing for a man charged as the mastermind of Silk Road, an encrypted website where users could shop for drugs like heroin and LSD anonymously.

Ross Ulbricht appeared in court on Friday in shackles and red prison clothes. His attorney, public defender Brandon LeBlanc, said the case was complex. He requested the hearing be pushed back.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero granted the request, rescheduling the hearing for Oct. 9.

The 29-year-old Ulbricht is also charged in Maryland with arranging to pay someone to kill a witness.

FBI agents arrested him on Tuesday in the science fiction section of a small branch of the San Francisco public library.

Ulbricht's arrest comes after a yearslong federal investigation that began in 2011. Agents determined Ulbricht was "altoid," someone who was posting information about Silk Road on other drug-related websites that were under federal surveillance.

Since then, Ulbricht's online behavior has been tracked, and agents slowly gathered evidence connecting him to Silk Road.

Court documents show that Ulbricht's final mistake was ordering fake identification documents from a Silk Road vendor in Canada that were intercepted at the border by U.S. Customs.

If convicted, Ulbricht could be sentenced to life in prison.


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