United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur has dropped the murder for hire charges against Ross Ulbricht, founder of the darknet marketplace Silk Road. In July, Hur filed a motion to have the charges dropped, and today it has finally happened. While this is excellent news for Ulbricht, it doesn't necessarily translate into reducing the time he is serving, and likely will not give him another shot at an appeal, although some legal scholars have argued that it should.
Darknet news site DeepDotWeb reported that Hur sought "to dismiss with prejudice the indictment and superseding indictment" against Ulbricht to redirect resources to other cases that were unresolved. He ran Silk Road from 2011 to 2013 under the name Dread Pirate Roberts, or DPR. Ulbricht is serving five simultaneous sentences for charges that include drug trafficking, money laundering, and the catch-all charge of cyber-related crimes. His sentences were handed down in 2015.
Ulbricht was also ordered to pay $183 million, which is what the government estimated he made while running Silk Road. The portion of the trial that was sealed was the indictment for murder for hire, alleging that as DPR, Ulbricht paid $80,000 to an undercover cop posing as a hitman to kill an employee he believed had stolen Bitcoin from his wallet. For all parties involved, this is where the trial gets very messy according to Bitcoin News.