Epic Exclusive: Key Silk Road Employee Breaks Silence
Dread Pirate Roberts Tried to Kill a Grandpa
As revealed today in a Baltimore courtroom, Curtis Clark Green is the mystery Silk Road employee that Ross Ulbricht, aka Dread Pirate Roberts, is accused of attempting to kill. Green was in federal court to plead guilty to conspiracy to traffic drugs for his role as a customer service representative with Silk Road, an anonymous online marketplace that abounded in illicit substances. Green is also a 47-year-old grandfather who works at a non-profit dedicated to helping people with learning disabilities. He lives in Spanish Fork, Utah, a small suburb south of Salt Lake City, and released this statement to me on Nov. 7:
I was an employee of Silk Road from approximately November 2012 until January 2013. I got involved in SR because I was interested in Bitcoin and SR was the biggest market place for Bitcoin. I also had an interest in harm reduction related to drug use. Initially I just chatted on the forum, and that led to DPR hiring me to work for SR. I was basically employed as a customer service rep, assisting people to use the site. I never used illegal drugs and I never intended to be directly involved in illegal drug deals.
In January 2013 federal agents stormed into my home and arrested me on drug charges. According to federal agents, DPR paid an undercover agent to murder me. The agents took photos as they faked my murder. I did not know the identity of DPR or any other user of SR. I never stole from DPR, SR or any SR users. On the advice of my attorney, I cannot give any further details, as I still face serious federal charges.
Green also sent me the following list of facts that he submitted to the court as part of his guilty plea:
The defendant, Curtis Clark Green, hereby stipulates and agrees that these facts are true, and that if this case had proceeded to trial, the government would have proven the following facts beyond a reasonable doubt. The parties also stipulate and agree that the following facts do not encompass all of the evidence that would have been presented had this matter proceeded to trial.
The defendant, Curtis Clark Green, age 47, is a resident of Utah. From in or about December 2012, through on or about January 17, 2013, he conspired with others to traffic in controlled substances.
Starting no later than November 2012, the defendant worked for the creator and operator of Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht, a/k/a “Dread Pirate Roberts.” (The defendant, however, knew Ulbricht only by his alias and did not know Ulbricht’s true identity). Silk Road was an online, international marketplace that allowed users to anonymously buy and sell illegal drugs, false identifications, and other contraband over the Internet. Ulbricht collected a fee for each transaction on the website. On Silk Road, the defendant was known by aliases, including “Flush” and “chronicpain.”
The defendant was paid a salary to serve as an administrator for Silk Road. His responsibilities included responding to questions and complaints from buyers and sellers, resetting passwords, resolving disputes between buyers and sellers. Each week the defendant contributed to a written report which was prepared by administrators for Ulbricht documenting issues such as possible fraud by Silk Road sellers and possible law enforcement activity on Silk Road.
The defendant’s access as an administrator allowed him to see message Silk Road users sent to each other, to see the details of transaction on Silk Road, and to see the Bitcoin accounts of Silk Road users and the administrators of Silk Road. (Bitcoin is a digital currency that has no association with a national government, and was used on Silk Road because it is difficult to track and easy to move online.) The defendant could also view administrative Bitcoin accounts controlled by Ulbricht.
Starting in or about April 2012, an undercover agent (“UC agent”) with the Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”) began communicating with Ulbricht under the guise of being a major drug smuggler. That agent was one of several assigned to a Baltimore-area Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking Task Force, named “Marco Polo,” focused on crimes committed through Silk Road.
In December 2012, Ulbricht set out to find a seller of drugs on Silk Road who could purchase larger quantities of drugs on Silk Road from the UC agent. Ulbricht directed his administrators, including the defendant, to assist. The defendant assisted the UC agent establish contact with a buyer for substantial quantities of drugs. The buyer was an established seller of drugs on Silk Road (the “Vendor”). The UC agent and the Vendor then negotiated a deal for one kilogram of cocaine for approximately $27,000 in Bitcoin. The Vendor told the UC agent that this deal was intended to be the first of many with the UC agent.
Without the knowledge of either Ulbricht or the UC agent, the defendant agreed to act as a middle-man for the Vendor. Specifically, the defendant agreed to take delivery of drugs on behalf of the Vendor. As a result, the Vendor provided the defendant’s address to the UC as the place to which the cocaine was to be delivered.
On January 17, 2013, the defendant took delivery of approximately one kilogram of cocaine at his residence in Utah. A United States Postal Inspector, working undercover, delivered the cocaine to the defendant’s residence. Shortly after the defendant accepted delivery of the cocaine, federal agents executed an anticipatory search warrant on his residence. Among those executing the warrant were federal agents assigned to the Marco Polo Task Force, including agents with the DEA, Homeland Security Investigations, the Untied States Postal Inspectors, and the United States Secret Service.
The agents found the defendant with the package of cocaine, which he had opened. According to lab analysis, the net weight of the cocaine was 1092 grams.
I have read this Statement of Facts and carefully reviewed every part of it with my attorney. I understand it, and I voluntarily agree to it. I do not wish to change any part of it.