No Jail Time For Silk Road 2 (SR2) Operator As Many Question Ross Ulbricht’s Ruling In Comparison
No Prison Time For Silk Road 2 Admin, Blake Benthall, Disparity In Ross Ulbricht Sentencing
The creator of the darknet marketplace Silk Road (SR), Ross Ulbricht, is currently serving a double life sentence for the role he played in SR with no chance of parole.
Following the shutdown of Silk Road, a number of other darknet marketplaces emerged and continued from where SR stopped. One the new darknet marketplaces (DNM) was Silk Road 2, and the founder Thomas White dubbed himself ‘Dread Pirate Roberts 2'. The darknet Marketplace, Silk Road 2 was later shutdown and some of its administrators as well as vendors were arrested in April 2019.
The founder of SR2, Thoma White and SR2 admin, Blake Benthall ‘Defcon' have both been released on bail after the initial arrest.
Thomas, was sentenced to five years, but remained free, living normally and sometimes even commenting on articles online using the alias ‘the Cthulhu'. As for ‘Defcon', there were speculations that he had evaded the punishment of the law.
Blake ‘Defcon' Benthall´s Sentence
However, according to recent reports, it seems like Blake Benthall cooperated with law enforcement and will not likely serve prison time.
Reports from the AUSA states:
“If the defendant fully complies with the understandings specified in this agreement, he will not be further prosecuted criminally by this Office for any crimes, except for criminal tax violations.”
In addition the document states that if Blake ‘Defcon' cooperates with the law “no testimony or other information given by him will be used against him in any criminal tax prosecution.”
This simply means that he will be required to pay all outstanding taxes to the IRS, and walk free.
This upset Ross Ulbricht's family after they heard this news of another darknet marketplace admin get a light ruling when compared to the cruel sentence of Ross.
After this news broke, the Free Ross campaign Twitter account tweeted :
“But wait, I thought if you ran a Silk Road you were too dangerous to ever be let out of a cage — I’m so confused.”
Large Disparity In Sentences
Since the sentencing of Ross, there has been a large difference in the sentencing of other darknet marketplace operators.
The Ulbricht family is surprised by the “grotesque disparity between Ross's life sentence” and stated that “it is wildly excessive and disproportionate to those imposed on others for similar, or worse, conduct.”
In regards to this huge disparity in sentences, the Freeross.org website stated :
“Ross, a young, first-time offender, was never prosecuted for causing harm or bodily injury, and no victim was named at trial.”
In addition,they said :
“All his charges at trial were non-violent — His walking death sentence is grossly excessive and disproportionate, and its injustice is manifest.”
The Ulbricht family further stated:
“Such a sentencing disparity flies in the face of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and the Sentencing Reform Act.”
Free Ross Petition
The family of Ross Ulbricht have started a petition via Change.org to get the United States President, Donald Trump to pardon Ross. At the moment , 170,687 people have signed the petition and the family is hopeful that that number will increase.