Alleged Online Drug Kingpin Was 'Ordinary Nerd'

He was busted in sci-fi section of library

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 3, 2013 3:42 AM CDT | Updated Oct 3, 2013 7:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Alleged Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht was no ordinary drug boss—he paid $1,000 a month for a San Francisco apartment he shared with two roommates, used an alias from the Princess Bride, and was arrested in the sci-fi section of his public library. But the FBI says the 29-year-old not only raked in around $80 million from his online drug marketplace's $1.6 billion turnover over two years, he ordered at least two killings to protect his operation, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The FBI says Ulbricht, aka "Dread Pirate Roberts," was provided with a photo of the supposed victim in one killing he ordered but there's no indication the killing actually took place. The other hit man he tried to hire was an undercover agent.

Ulbricht, a Texas native, appears to be a "normal, nerdy guy" in his social media postings, Gawker finds. He went to grad school at Pennsylvania State University, where he studied solar cells. On his LinkedIn profile, he complained about government control and said his goals had changed after graduation. "The most widespread and systemic use of force is amongst institutions and governments, so this is my current point of effort," he wrote. "I am creating an economic simulation to give people a first-hand experience of what it would be like to live in a world without the systemic use of force."

Ross Ulbricht is shown in a YouTube screenshot.
Ross Ulbricht is shown in a YouTube screenshot.   (YouTube)
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