NY defense lawyer: Silk Road creator is not a drug dealer
NEW YORK - A New York defense lawyer says a San Francisco man who launched an underground website as an economic experiment was fooled into taking the fall when investigators concluded it was used for drug dealing.
Attorney Joshua Dratel said at the criminal trial's opening Tuesday that Ross William Ulbricht was no drug dealer and should be found not guilty.
He spoke after prosecutor Timothy Howard said Ulbricht enabled more than 1 million drug deals on the Silk Road website. He said the 30-year-old man operated like a traditional drug boss, earning about $18 million.
Ulbricht disputes he operated online under the alias "Dread Pirate Roberts," a reference to a swashbuckling character in "The Princess Bride."
He also is charged in Baltimore federal court in an attempted murder-for-hire scheme.