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Austin Man Charged With Running Hidden Drug Website

Updated: Thursday, October 3 2013, 06:15 AM CDT
New this morning: a man with Austin ties is facing life in prison. The FBI says he's behind a massive underground website selling drugs and illegal services. The feds say the site, "Silk Road", did more than $1 billion in sales in just two years and had more than 13,000 listings where dealers sold everything from heroin to fake IDs to hit men services.

FBI agents arrested Ross William Ulbricht, 29, reportedly part of Westlake High School's Class of 2002, in San Francisco on Tuesday. The feds charged him with drug trafficking, computer hacking, and money laundering. He was reportedly caught after he used his real name while asking questions about running the site on a public message board. A separate indictment accuses him of trying to hire a man to kill someone he believed had stolen money from the site.

Ulbricht was living in San Francisco with a friend and was frequently seen working on his laptop at a nearby coffee shop.

"Uncombed hair, beard, he would often wear clothes he looked like he woke up in ... looked like pajama pants?  Yeah," said one customer.

"Yeah, I recognize him," said another person living nearby. "But does that shock me?  No."

Ulbricht's parents told Reuters they didn't know what their son was doing in San Francisco and described him as a "stellar, good person," "very idealistic" and said "he never meant to hurt anyone".

Ulbricht's bail hearing is set for Friday.
Austin Man Charged With Running Hidden Drug Website


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