On Friday, a federal judge sentenced Ross Ulbrich, age 31, to life in prison for crimes stemming from his brainchild – the website known as “Silk Road.” Silk Road was a virtual bazaar where the illicit trade of drugs and other objects of vice were exchanged for bitcoin. The government’s case alleged that heroin, methamphetamine, prescription pills and other controlled substances were shipped across the country, sometimes with lethal consequences.
The case should serve as a warning for anyone who taunts the government by trying to cleverly use E-Commerce to engage in, or profit from criminal activity. If you stick your neck out too far, you will become a target. Federal and state officials will use every tool in their arsenal to build a case against you. Ulbrich found this out the hard way.
On a smaller scale, local police officers are targeting small-time operators who attempt to use Craigslist and other on-line markets to peddle everything from marijuana to prescription pills. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department has a grant to target those who use Craigslist to facilitate criminal activity. If you log on to the website for an illegal purpose, be careful because the person answering your ad may very well be a Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputy. Illegal on-line drug sales are treated harshly in Ventura County.
Some young people will foolishly try and sell marijuana and prescription pills on Craigslist. Ventura County law enforcement takes this conduct very seriously. They will aggressively investigate you and arrest you for a felony whenever possible if you attempt to use Craiglist to sell marijuana or anything else illegal.