Two people involved with Silk Road, an online marketplace known for selling drugs and other illegal items, pleaded guilty Nov. 5 to criminal drug conspiracy charges. A federal prosecutor for the District of Maryland announced the guilty plea recently and condemned individuals skirting the law anonymously through the Internet.
According to documents unsealed in the Baltimore federal courthouse on Nov. 6, Silk Road’s 47-year-old administrator helped orchestrate an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent’s purchase of 2.2 pounds of cocaine in exchange for $27,000 in digital currency called Bitcoin. The administrator ultimately pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute drugs.
Another man associated with Silk Road entered a Nov. 5 guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute heroin and other drugs. A third individual, the man who is alleged to have initially set up the website, was indicted on attempted witness murder and other charges in Maryland. This man also faces criminal charges in New York.
The state of Maryland takes drug charges very seriously. As such, a drug-related conviction can be severe and include incarceration, fines and probation. In addition, a drug conviction may inhibit an individual’s ability to obtain employment or desirable housing.
A Maryland criminal defense attorney might be able to help a person accused of a drug crime in getting the charges either dismissed or significantly reduced. If a conviction seems likely based on the prosecution’s evidence, the attorney could negotiate with a favorable plea agreement. If the prosecutor’s evidence is incomplete or entirely circumstantial, an attorney could take the case to trial and earn a not guilty verdict.
Source: Bloomberg, “Silk Road Website manager pleads guilty to drug charge“, Andrew Zajac, November 07, 2013