It Just Got Harder to Buy a Bazooka

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What has become of America today that even our drug kingpins have become internet hipsters? Meet Ross William Ulbricht, a 29 year old former physics student from San Francisco who created Silk Road; a $1.2 billion dollar grossing online marketplace for the criminal underworld to buy and sell every kind of illegal drug imaginable in addition to firearms and computer hacking services. Raking in $80 million dollars for himself Ulbricht is like Mark Zuckerberg meets Heisenberg … all rolled in one big, fat spliff. Having founded Silk Road in 2011, he was arrested on October 2nd for “conspiracy to engage in narcotics trafficking, money laundering and computer hacking.”

Ulbricht modeled his illicit online crime empire after legitimate internet businesses like Ebay and Amazon. Think of it sort of like Netflix for illegal drugs and weapons!  Except instead of Breaking Bad in your delivery queue you have actual meth!  Over 13,000 ads on the site featured listings such as “”High Quality #4 Heroin All Rock” and “uncut crystal cocaine.”  Wow, even Craigslist is blushing.

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You see today’s crime bosses don’t have time to go down and sell their wares in the back alleys of America’s crime ridden neighborhoods. They want to roll like the big boys in Silicon Valley and have sleek offices where everyone sits on exercise balls, sipping soy teas and playing on the ping pong table in-between filling online shipments for heroin and ecstasy and monitoring the comments section for Silk Road users who are not trolling and being racist enough.

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They take power naps in the sauna room before their afternoon social media strategy meetings: “For the latest deals on cocaine and AR-15’s be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!”  I bet they even have a corporate retreat where the whole office goes on a trip to Columbia or the poppy fields of Afghanistan!  “Team building exercises” include a fun game of Russian Roulette… Karen from corporate development will be missed.  

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Ross even had a LinkedIn page where his resume failed to mention some of his corporate achievements in online narcotics and firearms distribution yet made posts stating that he now has an antigovernment stance and his aim is to end “coercion and aggression” by creating “a world without the systemic use of force.” I guess “aggression” and “force” don’t include attempting to hire hit men to have business partners murdered such as the FBI has accused him. Now that the feds have shut down Silk Road he will have plenty of time to solicit  endorsements on Linkedin in the areas of drug trafficking, money laundering and computer hacking.  

Have any of you had any experience with Silk Road? Don’t worry I’m not a narc.

Follow Phil @PhilHaney