The first agent who pleaded guilty in July to stealing $700,000 worth of bitcoin, has been sentenced to six and half years in prison by a San Francisco judge.
Carl Force, a former Drug Enforcement Administration agent, was part of the special task-force created to investigate and bring down Silk Road, the illegal marketplace that sold everything from drugs to weapons.
Force admitted to charges of extortion, money laundering and obstruction of justice.
As part of the investigation, Force worked undercover, posing as a drug dealer who was in contact with contract killers, in a bid to initiate contact with Ross Ulbricht, Silk Road’s founder.
The agent was successful in establishing contact with the elusive founder, but instead of attempting to bring Ulbricht to justice, Force sold information to him about the ongoing investigation.
Ulbricht was ultimately apprehended and is currently serving a life imprisonment term for charges that include conspiracy to traffic narcotics, computer hacking, money laundering – all of which are associated with his creation of Silk Road.
The US District judge who sentenced Carl Force, described his “betrayal of the public trust [as] quite simply breathtaking”.
Force was the first agent to have pleaded guilty back in July, but there was another US government agent who was involved.
Agent Shaun Bridges was part of the US federal team that was tasked with investigating and shutting down Silk Road, which culminated in the arrest, trial and imprisonment of Ross Ulbricht. as part of the investigation, Bridges took over an administrator account on the site, which he used to reset passwords and steal approximately 20,000 bitcoin from numerous wallets totalling $820,000.
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