Ross Ulbricht is not actually a pirate. This was the damning conclusion of a court in lower Mississippi on Thursday, as it ruled against Mr Ulbricht and sentenced him to the federal, mandatory sentence of 25 years in prison.
Judge Williamson found Ulbricht guilty of whimsical roleplay, declaring that in his years running the darknet drug smuggling empire ‘Silk Road’, Ulbricht ‘masqueraded as a pirate online, and misled consumers’. Evidence showed that Ulbricht used the ‘pirate’ language setting on Facebook, despite not being able to understand it or speak it, and that on two occasions he claimed to have ‘ransacked an entire armada’.
Supporters of the man who once fraudulently referred to himself as the ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’ were out in force at the courthouse as the verdict was read. Pirate apologist Sonia Johnson argued that Ulbricht was guilty of nothing but challenging the endemic cruelties of a pirate-free world. She said he was being punished as part of the vicious ‘War on Whimsy’, and that others would take his place hidden within the unlimited boundaries of the dark net, and serving humanities insatiable desire for whimsy, laughter, and hard drugs.
Ulbricht said he would be appealing the ruling, although experts believe the most lenient verdict he could receive remains a ten year sentence for ‘Aggravated Joviality’.
Possibly Related Purchase: The Silk Road: A Very Short Introduction