Ross Ulbricht, Founder of the SILK ROAD Dark Web Marketplace: Part II – His Shadowy, Corrupt Counterparts in the Baltimore Silk Road Task Force

Desire not the night, when people are cut off in their place.  Job 36:20

Rudy Davis has listed Ross Ulbricht, the founder and operator of the Silk Road  narcotics and illegal goods website as one of his prison pen pals on his yearofjubile.com website. On Davis’ companion YouTube channel, Lonestar1776, I searched for Ulbricht’s name.  Out of 10,000 uploads, only one video was tagged and that was a July 27, 2016 Shaeffer Cox video where Rudy Davis spends an hour and a half reading a letter. I have no idea why Ulbricht’s name is tagged with this video, except perhaps for the warning image shown below.

In this video, Rudy Davis reads a letter from Shaeffer Cox on his sentencing memo. There does not appear to be any relationship to this video and Ross Ulbricht except perhaps the image posted.

The source of this image is identified as Exposing the Ugly Ugly Judge.com, a domain that has never been registered.

In Part I on Ross Ulbricht, Founder of the SILK ROAD Dark Web Marketplace, I focused on his sentencing, and I provided a link to the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit decision of May 31, 2017 which provided an exhaustive analysis of every point which the defense wanted re-examined.

Of interest in the Appeals document is the discussion of whether or not the actions of two corrupt government agents in the Baltimore Task Force- Silk Road investigation had any impact on the fairness of the Ulbricht trial.

Prior to addressing all of the defense’s arguments, the Appeals decision stated, “At the same time, the venality of individual agents does not necessarily affect the reliability of the government’s evidence in a particular case or become relevant to the adjudication of every case in which the agents participated.  Courts are obligated to ensure the probative evidence is disclosed to the defense, carefully evaluated by the court for the materiality to the case, and submitted for the jury’s consideration where admissible.  But courts must also take care that wrongdoing by investigators that has no bearing on the matter before the court not be used as a diversion from fairly assessing the prosecution’s case.  Like any other potential evidence, information about police corruption must be evaluated by reference to the ordinary rules of criminal procedure and evidence, a task to which we now turn.”

There were two Task Forces which were intensely investigating the Silk Road; one in New York and the other in Baltimore.  In conjunction with law enforcement agents from the Department of Homeland Security, the I. R. S., and the U. S. Postal Inspection Service, DEA Special Agent Carl Mark Force IV conducted the primary undercover communications with Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR) AKA Ross Ulbricht, whereas Secret Service Special Agent Shaun W. Bridges served as the specialist in computer forensics and anonymity software derived from TOR. The Ulbricht case was tried in the Southern District of New York federal criminal court, and it was the New York task force that became responsible for ensuring that the Silk Road case was not contaminated by any of the actions of the two corrupt Baltimore task force agents.

As noted in Footnote 6 in the Appeals document, the end result of the criminal investigation into the two agents resulted in both Force and Bridges pleading “guilty to money laundering and obstruction of justice; Force also pleaded guilty to extortion.  Force was sentenced to 78 months in prison, and Bridges received a 71-month sentence.”

TOR (The Onion Router) 

The Silk Road enterprise took place in that dark, nether world of the internet which is accessed using the TOR browser. Chris Skinner, an independent commenter on the financial markets, stated in a July  2015 article on thefinanser.comHow to Crack Anonymous:  The Silk Road Story, that “TOR –  The Onion Router –  was developed by the U. S. Navy in the 1990’s with the aim of protecting U. S. Intelligence communications online.  After its release and subsequent enhancements since 2002, it’s become the preferred network for drugs, fraud, and other illicit activities, as it allows users to browse the web almost completely anonymously. TOR achieves this by directing internet traffic through a free, worldwide, volunteer network consisting of more than six thousand relays to conceal a user’s location and usage from anyone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis.”

Skinner also notes that the Silk Road story is a fascinating one because it “demonstrates the libertarian versus statist stand-off”.  He explains, “The libertarian versus statist movement is a very active one and, again for those who have not encountered it, is led by many bitcoin activists.  The bitcoin activists claim they have invented money without government, and believe that society should be free to operate as they want. If people want to exchange drugs, paedophilia or organize terrorist activities, that is a lifestyle choice and they should be allowed to do just that.  The view being that if these activities are viewed by the collective as inappropriate, then the collective will shut it down rather than the government.”

While TOR is known for providing anonymity, when it comes to anonymous commercial transactions, these activities are subject to exposure for various reasons once they leave the dark web and enter into the every-day reality of delivery systems and financial exchanges involving bitcoins and U. S. dollars.  In fact, the government’s investigation into Ulbricht’s activities was triggered by the discovery of a package of illegal drugs being delivered via the mail system.

The foundation for regulating behavior is not just having a “collective standard”, but there must be the authority and power to enforce those rules of conduct.

In the situation involving the exposure of the two corrupt government agents, unfortunately it was not internal procedural or  supervisory controls within the Baltimore Task Force that identified the corruption within their ranks.  Rather,  it was Bitstamp, the crypto exchange, that was the source of their undoing.  This reality collides with the bitcoin activists’ argument that the Collective ought to be the regulating force rather than the  Government. It took both a participant in the so called Collective and the Government’s resources and authority to deal with all of the wrongdoers associated with Silk Road.

It needs to be remembered that when Ross Ulbricht discovered persons in his midst that threatened exposure of his wrongdoing, he paid enormous sums using  bitcoins, to hire anonymous assassins to track down the real identities of his enemies, so that they could be murdered. In his world, Ulbricht was the sole dictator who had the authority and power to execute his own version of “justice”.  The U. S. Government, despite corrupt agents within, still displays the capability of bringing to justice wrongdoers in accordance with rules of evidence which favors the discovery of truth, while protecting the fragile rights of both the public and individuals.

While initially it was Bitstamp who found the activities of Force to be suspicious,  subsequent interviews of Shaun Bridges were pursued when the government observed  that he was making “inaccurate statements”. On March 18, 2015, Bridges resigned after being told he was suspended.

The Affidavit underlying the arrest warrant for Force and Bridges

The Affidavit provided by Special Agent (IRS) Tigran Gambaryan on March 25, 2015 in support of the criminal complaint against Force and Bridges (150325 – Charges Against Former Federal Agents in Silk Road), noted that “On April 29, 2014, Bitstamp’s General Counsel advised BRIDGES by telephone from the Northern District of California that Bitstamp suspected FORCE of wrongdoing and intended to formally bring it to the attention of law enforcement via a Bank Secrecy Act filing.  Bitstamp did so on May 1, 2014.  By May 4, 2014, FORCE submitted a letter of resignation after 15 years of service to be effective later that month.”

Gambaryan continues, “On approximately May 2, 2014 the U. S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California opened an official investigation into FORCE concerning his activities with his Bitstamp account and bitcoin holdings.  On approximately May 4, 2014, the Public Integrity Section opened an official investigation into FORCE concerning his improper use of a subpoena to Venmo.  On May 8, 2014, the Northern District of California and Public Integrity investigations were merged.”

The U. S. Sentencing Memo on Bridges

At this point, I am going to focus on the United States’ Sentencing Memorandum in the criminal case United States of America v. Shaun W. Bridges (A/K/A “Number 13”), dated December 7, 2015. The United States Attorneys argued against a downward departure or a variance in this case from the applicable sentencing guidelines. The defendant Bridges had pleaded guilty to money laundering and obstruction of justice.  The Probation Department had applied a 2-level enhancement for sophisticated means, and the sentencing guidelines for Bridges’ offenses ranged from 57 to 71 months. (all bolding in the following excerpts is mine.)

The United States Attorney’s Office stated on page 2, “By his egregious conduct and flagrant abuse of his authority as a sworn law enforcement officer, Shaun Bridges has shown that he is not someone who deserves a sentence at or below the low-end of the Guidelines range.  Rather, Shaun Bridges is someone who abused the public trust and tarnished the reputation of law enforcement in the process.  For those reasons and others discussed below, the United States seeks a high-end Guidelines sentence of 71 months’ imprisonment-the same sentence recommended by the Probation Department.”

It was further noted by the AUSA that the defendant had objected to the application of the sophisticated means enhancement; however, it was explained that the money laundering offense involved the sophisticated means of “conduct such as hiding assets or transactions, or both, through the use of fictitious entities, corporate shells, or offshore financial accounts…”.

On page 3, it was explained that “Bridges stole bitcoins from various Silk Road accounts using the log-in credentials from one of the website’s customer support representatives- a target whom they had arrested- and transferred the bitcoins to Mt. Gox, an offshore bitcoin exchange company in Japan.  Over several months, Bridges then made nine separate wire transfers – all under $100,000 each – totaling $822,851.19 from the offshore exchange to a Fidelity account in the name of Quantum International Investments, LLC (“Quantum”), a shell corporation Bridges created in the United States…The sole and exclusive purpose of this LLC was to receive and hide those criminal proceeds…further, as the PSR notes, bitcoin is a sophisticated technology/currency.”

On page 6 of the Sentencing Memorandum, special notice and condemnation is given for Bridge’s handling of a cooperator in this case, stating,  “In addition, the government believes that defendant Bridges’ sentence should be severe given his treatment of the cooperator, GC, in this case. Bridges did not simply steal from Silk Road, he stole from Silk Road and the operator of Silk Road–whom Bridges knew by his online moniker, “Dread Pirate Roberts”–through the administrator account of CG.  Of course, Ulbricht and a Silk Road administrator believed that CG had stolen from them since they were unaware that CG was cooperating and had given Bridges access to his account.”

Being a wealthy and dangerous operator of a narcotics trafficking site, Ulbricht responded in a predictable way to the perceived thefts by CG – he looked for associates to murder CG.  Bridges was aware that Ulbricht wanted to murder CG almost immediately because Bridges assisted Force and other agents in faking CG’s death.  Bridges did nothing to prevent Ulbricht’s belief – and the belief of the other agents and the AUSAs- that CG was the actual thief.  The AUSAs announced that they would not provide CG with a 5K recommendation due to their belief that he had stolen from Silk Road while promising to be a cooperator.  CG protested, but the agents and AUSAs did not believe that one of their own could have been responsible for the theft and did not believe him.  That Ulbricht contracted Force’s UCE legend of Nob to murder CG was fortuitous because Nob could obviously control his part of the situation by not murdering CG but letting Ulbricht believe that CG had been murdered by Nob.  But Bridges did not know that would be the result.”

“In addition, law enforcement is aware that Ulbricht did not limit his solicitation to murder CG to Force/Nob.  Ulbricht actively contacted other Silk Road users that Ulbricht believed could murder CG.  That was an eventuality that Bridges, of course, foresaw.  The solution for the agents was to order CG not to leave his house until Ulbricht was apprehended almost a year later.  CG was confined to his home in fear for his safety day after day. Had the New York-based investigation not located and arrested Ulbricht when it did, CG could have been left to the equivalent of house arrest up to this very day.’

“This type of abuse of a cooperator is absolutely unforgivable. Bridges allowed his greed and deception to endanger the life of a man who was actively striving to assist the Baltimore Silk Road Task Force with its investigation….This type of abuse of a vulnerable cooperator strikes a powerful chord with prosecutors and law enforcement who rely on these types of relationships to solve crimes.  This type of abuse cannot be taken lightly by federal law enforcement or the Court.  Bridges should be sentenced on the basis of his abuse of CG along with his fraudulent and deceitful conduct.”

The rest of the 12 page United States’ Sentencing Memorandum on Shaun Bridges continues to describe the egregious conduct of this former Secret Services Special Agent, who presently sits in prison as punishment for his offences.

The deeper the darkness of Anonymity on the Internet, the more egregious are the crimes which materialize, undermining the safety and protections necessary to maintain a free society.

The illegal activities conducted by Ross Ulbricht done under the cover of the anonymity provided by the dark web browser, TOR, not only included the distribution of dangerous controlled substances, such as heroin or the assassin’s poison cyanide.  But as the Appeals Court decision (footnote 66) describes, he also sold “illegal goods such as counterfeit identification documents and computer hacking tools and services…The specific computer hacking tools available included software for compromising usernames and passwords of electronic accounts, including email and Facebook; Remote Access Tools (“RATS”) that allow hackers to obtain remote access to a victim’s computer, including turning on and using the computer’s webcam; keyloggers, which allow a user to monitor keystrokes inputted by a victim to discern their passwords and other sensitive information; and  Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) tools, which allow hackers to disable websites by flooding networks with malicious Internet traffic.  Silk Road also offered money laundering services through vendors who sold U. S. currency and anonymous debit cards…”.

It is time for internet broadcasts and writings, especially those done in the name of Christ, to provide documentation to back up their conclusions.  Because of the continuous streaming of  false and defamatory conclusions on the internet,  we are in danger of losing the freedom of speech and press privileges which we currently enjoy, if stringent measures are put into place to correct this situation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ross Ulbricht, Founder of the SILK ROAD Dark Web Marketplace: Part I – The Reasons for the Lifetime Prison Sentence

“Since Ross Ulbricht’s arrest, my family and I have endured the persistent drumbeat of his supporters who proclaim Mr. Ulbricht a hero and persistently portray his crime as victimless.”  The American father of Bryan, testifying at the sentencing of how his son lost his life from heroin purchased on the Dark Web “Silk Road” marketplace.

“Silk Road made it easily accessible to anyone, children included.” Court transcript quote of The Australian mother whose 16-year-old son died from an illegal drug his friend purchased from the “Silk Road”.

ROSS ULBRICHT is one of the “American Political” prisoners featured on Rudy and Erin Davis’ Year of Jubile website, under their Prisoner Pen Pals section.

To their credit, yearofjubile.com warns those who might want to be pen pals with their featured prisoners, that “many are just looking to con kind-hearted people from their money”.

Who is Ross Ulbricht?

In the 18 page Government Sentencing Submission filed 5/26/15 as Document 256 in Case 1:14-cr-00068-KBF(ross ulbricht presentencing letter), the first paragraph states, “…Ulbricht stands before the Court convicted of all seven counts of the Indictment in connection with his creation and operation of the Silk Road website.  The evidence at trial established that Ulbricht ran a massive narcotics-trafficking enterprise that dramatically lowered the barriers to obtaining illegal drugs.  As the Presentence Report (“PSR”) filed by the Probation Office makes clear, that enterprise resulted in serious real-world consequences, including at least six drug-related deaths.  Such consequences were entirely foreseeable to Ulbricht, who understood that his business was fueling drug abuse and addiction.”

“Ulbricht profited greatly from his operation of Silk Road, ultimately amassing millions of dollars in commissions.  He was willing to use violence to protect his enterprise, as evidenced by his solicitation of multiple murders for hire in attempts to eliminate perceived threats.  At no point has he acknowledged full responsibility or shown true remorse for his actions.”

At the Conclusion of this letter to the Judge, the Government requested that “the Court impose a lengthy sentence, one substantially above the 20-year mandatory minimum, in order to reflect the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the law, and to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct. 18 U. S. C. section 3553(a).”

We are left to hazard a wild guess as to why Rudy Davis has included Ross Ulbricht on his “American Political Prisoners” Roster.

Ross Ulbricht: He has a degree in Physics and a Masters in Applied Materials; yet he chose to found a dark web worldwide criminal drug enterprise, earning him a life sentence in prison, without parole

After I pondered in my October 12th article whether or not the prison ministry of Year of Jubile.com and the Lonestar 1776 YouTube channel  exhibited the values of a genuine “King James Bible believing follower of the Lord Jesus Christ”, founder Rudy Davis responded by leaving a lengthy comment on this blog, consigning me to hell.

Although failing to address the key points in the article, Davis took issue with my characterization of his ministry as exclusively focusing on sovereign citizen “I am above the law” legal theorists. That particular phrase of mine was utilized to contrast his prison ministry’s narrow focus on domestic terrorists, to that of other Christian prison ministries that offer face-to-face Bible studies behind prison walls to all who desire to participate, without discrimination.

But since this gauntlet has been thrown down at my feet, I have decided to examine over the long haul, “those other prisoners” of Rudy Davis’,  who are not expressly sovereign citizens.

In the midst of his rant-styled comment, Davis presented a long list of prisoner names, which excluded Kent Hovind,  one of his most infamous, formerly incarcerated, tax protestor/sovereign citizens, as well as two of his other current sovereign citizen felons which I have written about, Mike and Pat Parsons. It will take a long while to go through every name on Rudy Davis’ list, but I have noted that the following fourteen names are listed on the seditionists.com PDF of J. J. MacNab’s  Anti-Government Extremist Violence and Plots-2000 to 2018, as of March 31, 2018. 

They include: Patricia Parsons (Sovereign) “plot to kidnap judge and sheriff”; Bryce Cuellar (Sovereign/Militia) “terroristic threats; Michael Emry (Sovereign/Militia) “unlawful possession of machine gun”; Greg Burleson, Gerald Delemus, and Todd Engel (Militia/Sovereign/Sagebrush) who were part of an “April 12, 2014 armed confrontation”; Schaeffer Cox, Lonnie Vernon, and Karen Vernon (Sovereign/Militia) “plot to kidnap/kill police/feds/judge”; Charles Dyer-active duty military (Oath Keeper) “theft of grenade launcher, child rape”; Ed Brown, Elaine Brown, Daniel Riley (Tax Protestor/Sovereign) “armed standoff/plot to kill officers/judge”;  and David Hinkson (Sovereign) “plot to kill judges/IRS agent/AUSA”.

Ross Ulbricht’s political model was Libertarianism, but like Sovereign Citizens who engage in criminality,  he shared the common denominator of considering himself to be personally beyond the law.

In records kept by Ulbricht used as evidence in his trial, he stated, “I’m running a multi-million dollar criminal enterprise.” However, after he was indicted, he painted himself as a rather naïve, young man on a misguided path. This turnabout in Ross Ulbricht, who was living a double life, was addressed by the Court.

The Hon. Katherine B. Forrest, the United States District Judge over U. S. v. Ross William Ulbricht, stated during the sentencing, as transcribed in document #277, (page 67, line 15), “It wasn’t game and you knew that.  It was an enterprise the stated purpose of which–the stated purpose of which–was to flout the law, to be outside of the law, to be beyond the law.  In the world that you created over time, democracy that we had set up with our founding fathers that provide for the passage of laws and the enforcement of those laws through our democratic process did not exist.  It wasn’t about democracy.”

“You were captain of the ship, as the Dread Pirate Roberts, and you made your own laws and you enforced those laws in the manner that you saw fit.  So it wasn’t a world without restriction.  It wasn’t a world of ultimate freedom.  It was a world of laws that you created, they were your laws.  It is fictional to think of Silk Road as some place of freedom.  It was a place with a lot of rules and if you didn’t comply with the rules you would be bumped out of Silk Road, you would have various kinds of things done to you that are all set forth in the seller’s guide, and here and there, and ultimately there were, of course, some commissioned murders for hire when people were making threats against that enterprise.”

So while Ross Ulbricht cannot be classified with the Sovereign Citizen movement, he exhibits the same amoral, arrogant attitude, of being above the law; entitled to establish his own rules, including the right to employ assassins against anyone who threatened his empire.

This dark world of criminal thinking is condemned by  Christian doctrine. So what words best characterize the core ideology of Rudy Davis’ American Political prisoners, if the sovereign citizens “I am above the law” label is inadequate?  The Bible stands against the hardness of the impenitent heart which results in seditions, lawlessness, murder, callous disregard for the lives of other people….etc.

Two Interesting Facets of the Ross Ulbricht criminal case

I am going to cover in two parts, the Ross Ulbricht case:  today’s post will cover the life imprisonment without parole sentence on the defendant, with the second part focusing on the side story intersecting the Ross Ulbricht case, which involved two corrupt federal agents that were tried in a separate court case, for their illegal behavior undertaken while investigating the Silk Road dark web marketing scheme.

Part I: The Reasons Behind the Length of the Sentence Given Ross Ulbricht

The court transcript of the sentencing of Ross Ulbricht is contained in Document 277 (98 pages), filed 6/30/2015 in the United States District Court Southern District of New York in Case 1:14-cr-00068-KBF, with Hon. Katherine B. Forrest as District Judge.

On page 53, Assistant United States Attorney, Serrin A. Turner is discussing the motives of the defendant, and adds, “He was motivated, in part, by a political agenda but that is not excuse for what he did.  If he wanted to pursue a political agenda he could have done so through the political process.  He was not entitled to legislate his own policies on the Internet whether it was drugs or fake I. D.s or computer hacking or guns or child pornography.  You don’t get to say that I think these things should be sold without restriction and therefore I am going to do it, whatever the law says.  You can’t do it on the street, you can’t do it in cyberspace.  The internet is not a license to flaunt the law.

On page 65, line 22, the Hon. Judge Forrest asks, “What sentence serves the ends of justice? I start with the nature and circumstances of the crime and we have talked about some of it already.  The nature and circumstances of the crime can be summed up as a planned, comprehensive, and deliberate scheme to do that which was unlawful and something which posed serious danger to public health and to our communities.”

“I, and you all know that Silk Road was a worldwide criminal drug enterprise with a massive geographic scope.  And, Mr. Ulbricht, you don’t fit the typical criminal profile…You are educated.  You have two degrees; you have a physics degree, you have a master’s degree in applied materials.  You have an intact family…”

On page 68, the Hon. Judge Forrest continues, “So I don’t find supportable the argument that the website was started by an impulsive or naïve young man. I give you a lot more credit than that.  I don’t think you did something thoughtless, I think you did something very, very thoughtful with which I disagree entirely.  I disagree with the choice that you made but I don’t think it was a choice that you made without giving it deep thought.”

“I don’t find it supportable the argument that Silk Road was an economic experiment.  It was, in fact, a carefully planned life’s work.  It was your opus. It may have been based on some theory or some philosophy that you held, but it was no experiment  of philosophy and provides no excuse.  You wanted it to be your legacy–you said that in some of the communications introduced at trial–and it is.  It was a project that you had an idea for, you carefully nurtured it, you took deliberate acts to set it up over years to put your plan into motion and to perfect it and to continue to perfect it and to improve it.  That was not anything impulsive.  That is not the definition of impulsive.  There was no experimental quality to it, it was slick, it was professional, it was built to last.
And, but for the very hard and creative work of law enforcement, it would still be going right now.”

Page 69, line 24:  “All the evidence shows that you viewed Silk Road both as above the law, and the laws didn’t apply, and in this context, the fact that the laws are what distinguished us from what is uncivilized that they are the embodiment–laws are the embodiment–and they are the manifestation of our democratic process.  When that gets lost, it becomes meaningless.”

Silk Road’s birth and its presence asserted that its creator–you–and its operator–were better than the laws of this country and there are posts which discuss the laws as the oppressor and each transaction is a victory over the oppressor. This is deeply troubling and terribly misguided and also very dangerous.”

Analyzing the intent of the defendant

“Your own words I have looked at very carefully and I have reread certainly more than once in this whole process.  They reveal a kind of an arrogance and they display an intent that is very important to the Court’s determination, and the Court will go through some of the chronology of putting some of your words into chronological order here now…”

Page 70, line 23:  “…and you say,  ‘The idea was to create a website where people could buy and sell anything anonymously with no trail whatsoever that could lead back to them.’  And that is not so much the economics of it, of an economic experiment, that is about a method of law evasion.”

Page 71, line 15:  “Also in 2011, you wrote proudly that Silk Road was getting its first press from Gawker but you also wrote that two senators came out against the site.  And then you said:  ‘I was mentally taxed and now I felt extremely vulnerable and scared.  The U. S. government, my main enemy, was aware of me and some of its members were calling for my destruction.’  And then you changed your name to Dread Pirate Roberts; you devised a cover story.”

Assassination drugs and hitmen? Ross Ulbricht personally paid $650,000 in Bitcoins to eliminate his adversaries!

Page 73, line 12:  “Then, in 229C, still in May 2012, you were informed that a vendor is selling cyanide.  You were told, ‘It’s only the most well known assassination suicide poison out there.” And you consider whether to allow it to be sold because you are the decision maker…”

Page 74, line 12 concerning entries in the defendant’s journal:  “March 28:  ‘Being blackmailed with user info.  Talking with large distributor, (hell’s angels).’  Then, March 29th:  ‘Commissioned hit on blackmailer with angels.’  April 1:  ‘Got word that blackmailer was executed.  Created file upload script.’  So, you went back to the technical work right after getting word that the blackmailer had been executed…”

Page 75, line 3:  “Two days later on April 8 you write:  ‘Sent payments to angel for hit on Tony76 and his three associates.  Began setting up hecho as standby’–I have no idea what that is–‘refactored main and category pages to be more efficient.’  These are the words of a man who knows precisely what he is doing and they’re the words of a man who is callous as to the consequences or the harm and suffering that it may cause others.

“You joke about an addict unable to contain his addiction because of Silk Road and you seek to kill people that you don’t even know–these are the words of a criminal and that is truth.”

“The crimes as to which you stand convicted, Mr. Ulbricht, are crimes which are intentional, they occurred over a lengthy period of time, you knew exactly what you were doing.  This was not some sort of experiment, it wasn’t some sort of game.  This is the general nature of Silk Road.”

Page 76, line 11: “..Silk Road also distributed drugs anywhere that the delivery service would take it worldwide–DHL, Fed Ex, USPS–bringing drugs to communities that previously may have had no access to such drugs or in such quantities.  That was an assault on the public health of our communities.”

The defendant’s defense of minimizing the impact of his actions on others

Page 77, line 9:  “There appears to be, in some of these articles that were presented to the Court, some view that there is a moral ambiguity about some of the drug distributions.  There is no moral ambiguity about it.  It was just wrong.  And that is what our democratic process had said and there is a way to change the law but it is not by doing what occurred.”

“No drug dealer from the Bronx selling meth or heroin or crack has ever made these kinds of arguments to the Court.  It is a privileged argument, it is an argument from privilege.

“Let me start with the basic proposition:  The impact of heroin, crack, and meth sold in the Bronx, the impact of those drugs sold in the Bronx are no better for our society than those drugs that were sold through Silk Road.  When those drugs arrive, they are the same drugs. You are no better a person than any other drug dealer and your education does not give you a special place of privilege in our criminal justice system.  It makes it less explicable why you did what you did.”

Violence of the defendant

Page 82, line 17:  “So, let’s talk about your own violence. So, we also have your own violence and there is no doubt–really none–that you wanted to and paid for the murders of five people to protect your drug enterprise.  That is not the conduct of conviction but it is relevant conduct, so how is that consistent with harm reduction?”

“The submissions by the defense experts that you folks put in say that we should ignore that because it wasn’t charged.  But, that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.  How do you ignore that?  I just really don’t understand that argument at all.  It happened, it is there in black and white.  Now, did the murders happen?  Well, they can’t find any bodies.”

Did you commission a murder?  Five? Yes.  Did you pay for it?  Yes.  Did you get photographs relating to what you thought was the result of that murder?  Yes.  So, I have read many articles about the harm reduction and it is just fantasy.”

Money laundering involving Bitcoin-based systems and forfeiture

On page 90 a forfeiture amount of $183,961,921 is discussed.  On page 92, Judge Forrest states, “The Circuit has held even where a defendant does not retain money laundered property he will be subject to substitution of assets, I. e., a money judgment…money laundering allowed people on the website to exchange money that, circumstantially the inference is clear, was obtained for one purpose to exchange it into currency and cash out and launder that money.”

“So, in this case, all funds passing through Silk Road’s Bitcoin-based payment system were involved in the money laundering offense in Count Seven.  The Bitcoin-based system promoted and facilitated illegal transactions on Silk Road and concealed the proceeds of those transactions.  It also concealed the identities of and locations of users.

“Page 93, line 3:  “I also note that the forfeiture amount is not an ‘excessive fine’ under the Eighth Amendment but I say it sua sponte given that is over $180 million.  While the amount is significant, it is no more significant than the revenue that was generated through the sales of illegal drugs and fraudulent identification documents on Silk Road and money laundering, a criminal enterprise which the defendant designed and operated.”

The Sentencing by the Hon. Katherine B. Forrest, United States District Judge

Page 94, line 16:  “So, Mr. Ulbricht, would you please stand, sir? Mr. Ulbricht, it is my judgment delivered here, now on behalf of our country, that on Counts Two and Four you are sentenced to a period of life imprisonment, to run concurrently; on Count Five you are sentenced to five years’ imprisonment to run concurrently; on Count Six, you are sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment also concurrent; and for money laundering in Count Seven, you are sentenced to 20 years, also concurrent.  In the federal system there is no parole and you shall serve your life in prison….”

Page 95, line 4:  “There must be no doubt that lawlessness will not be tolerated.  There must be no doubt that no one is above the law, no matter the education or the privileges.  All stand equal before the lawThere must be no doubt that you cannot run a massive criminal enterprise and because it occurred over the Internet, minimize the crime committed on that basis.…”.

Ross Ulbricht appealed this verdict in the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, docket no. 15-1815.  On May 31, 2017, the Appeals Court decided, “Because we identify no reversible error, we AFFIRM Ulbricht’s conviction and sentence in all respects.” 

 

 

 

 

 

Rudy Davis and Mike Parsons Eye A New Proselyte for their Line Up of “American Political Prisoners”

…for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.  Matthew 23: 15b

I was listening to a recorded jailhouse phone call from felon Mike Parsons to Rudy Davis published October 6, 2018 at Lonestar 1776 under the caption, Mike Parsons Informs us about Michael Taylor WilsonRudy was preparing to give a speech at a church about his prison ministry, and at the 5.21 mark he explains,  “Let me just quickly say this Mike, the, I think we’re going into like a civil war, you know, issue where you have the state worshippers and the police supporters and you have the people who recognize the state for what it is, which is a tyranny and I got example after example after example that I’m gonna put in my speech…”.

Davis has only 10 minutes to give his speech…so what are the highlights of his prison ministry?

It was the next day, Sunday October 7, 2018, that Rudy Davis visited Fair Park Bible Fellowship Church in Dallas, Texas at the invitation of Senior Pastor Stephen E. Broden, to explain his prison ministry to the congregation.  (A longer sixteen minute version of this speech may be heard on Davis’ Lonestar 1776 You Tube channel, called What is Year of Jubile. com Prison Ministries?)

Although Rudy Davis’ prison ministry uses the Gideon Army motif, here he employs the painting of David cutting off the head of Goliath by Michaelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, to illustrate his prison ministry objectives.

Stephen Broden

In the past, Rudy Davis has referred to Senior Pastor Stephen Broden as his pastor.   Broden’s credentials can be found at this Wikipedia link, but of interest to us is one facet of his life, and that relates back to 2010, when he ran as the Republican candidate for the U. S. House in Texas’ 30th Congressional District.  Although defeated in that election, Broden remains outspoken and advocates “a return to Constitutional principles in government”.  According to the Wikipedia report, in 2010 Stephen Broken had been “accused of saying that the current federal government was tyrannical”, suggesting that “violent overthrow could not be ruled out if there was not a change in leadership….”.  So it appears that Rudy Davis and Senior Pastor Broden share the common belief that our federal government is a tyranny.

Rudy Davis began his testimony at this church saying,  “Peace and blessings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Thank you for this time today and a sincere thanks to Pastor Broden who has been an advocate for political prisoners. I encourage you to ask questions and reach out if you want to discuss anything further as my wife and I love to make noise and shine light about the prison industrial complex.  It is what God has called us to do.”  But then Davis launches into the core of his ministry objectives, which at heart, are political rather than Christian, asserting that “In December 2010, LTC Terry Lakin was sent to Fort Leavenworth prison for 6 months for questioning Obama’s eligibility.”

In just four words, Rudy Davis has misrepresented the facts in the Lakin case

According to a December 16, 2010 abcnews.go.com report by Huma Khan, headlined,  ‘Birther’ Dismissed from Army for Refusing Deployment, Sentenced to Six Months in Prison, Lt. Col. Terry Lakin, was sentenced by a military jury for refusing to obey orders.   He was not imprisoned for questioning Obama’s eligibility. The abc.go.com report stated,  “During the trial, the Colorado native acknowledged that he should have followed orders despite his concerns about Obama’s citizenship.”  Huma Khan also explained in this news story that “Prosecutors came down hard on Lakin, saying that he knew what he was doing and had ‘invited and earned’ the sentence.”

Davis continues in his speech, “In May of 2012, prominent speakers all across the nation met here in this church to discuss the eligibility of Obama to be President.  As far as I know, this is the only church in America that was brave enough to hold an event to discuss that topic. Pastor Broden was also a critical voice of support for Dr. Kent Hovind before others jumped on the bandwagon.  Dr. Hovind won his freedom in a federal courtroom in Florida.  Only 2% of federal cases result in victory for the defendant.  Dr. Hovind’s ministry is responsible for many of the signs and posters you see in the hallways in this church debunking the lies of evolution.”

Statistics which ignore the data base from which they are derived

Rudy Davis follows his statement about Hovind winning freedom in a Florida federal court by saying that “only 2% of federal cases result in victory for the defendant” without further explanation. Hovind did not have a victory in a federal courtroom until he was almost done with his original ten-year sentence, and was facing another separate legal issue, which turned in his favor.  The basic reason that statistically few defendants prevail in a federal trial, is that most persons who are charged plead guilty, preferring a plea deal rather than a trial by jury. 

The true orientation of Rudy Davis’s “American political prisoner” ministry 

Rudy Davis claims that he and his wife Erin associate with “prisoners whom the state identifies as domestic terrorists“.  What this means when one examines the prisoners associated with his ministry, is that he has exclusively chosen felons who have adopted a Sovereign Citizen “I am above the law” legal ideology.  Thus Davis’ Year of Jubile/Lonestar 1776 prison ministry is not structured after the normal Independent Fundamental Baptist Church approach to prison ministry which regards the welfare of all prisoners, without partiality.  The average Christian prison ministry visits jails within close proximity to their local church, so that face to face Bible studies and worship services will in fact be offered to ANY incarcerated person, without prejudice.

Rudy Davis’ roster of unrepentant, self-designated “American political” prisoners are scattered across the United States, thus making it highly unlikely that he ever has face to face contact with a prisoner inside prison walls. In the random selection of videos I have watched at his Lonestar1776 YouTube channel,  Rudy Davis is a Yes Man, with a man pleasing, rather than God pleasing demeanor who serves as a personal secretary for his prisoners, recording their phone conversations and putting them on YouTube, and sending and receiving various documents through the mail that affect them.  He does not attempt to correct a prisoner’s slanders, false conclusions or unrepentant attitude,  but joins in with these felons to revile anyone who attempts to address the true evidence in these cases.

Since Davis acknowledges that his ministry is aimed at assisting those whose actions fall under the “domestic terrorism” guidelines of the FBI, it is small wonder that his thousands of videos on YouTube displaying antigovernment rants have resulted in personal visits to his home by the Secret Service and the FBI.  He claims that the IRS has targeted them, as well.

The Sticky Pendulum: Extremism No Matter What

Rudy Davis said in his speech at Broden’s church, “For the majority of my life I had an extremely harsh and extremely stupid view on crime and criminals.  It was not uncommon for me to say, “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.”  Or “Lock them up and throw away the key.”  Or “I support our law enforcement NO MATTER WHAT!”  I now repent for those stupid things and pray that God continues to show me the error of my ways.  Our criminal system is satanic and I now see it for what it is.  It is a for-profit business that deals in human trafficking.  Prosecutors are not motivated by truth and justice but they are motivated in advancing their own careers and winning a conviction at all costs.  America has only 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prison population.”

Without understanding

Apparently Rudy Davis is unable to attempt even a rudimentary analysis of  an organization in an effort to comprehend how and why things work as they do.  Most “problem solvers” such as auditors or investigative reporters, etc., understand that real life problems have many facets: and when things don’t work as they should, the reasons might not be attributable to corruption, greed, ambition, and other self-serving causes. 

By Rudy Davis’s own confession, his mind works like a pendulum stuck in time as first  he believes 100% one way, but when his argument is dislodged, he swings  100% to the other side. That is not the behavior of a thinking, reasonable person who is attempting to sort out evidence and facts.  It is the sign of a dogmatic fool. Such persons often observe that the Bible describes sound doctrine by sorting out truth and falsehood into two distinct and separate categories, and they conclude that they can dispense with the obligation to be an impartial judge when viewing actual human behavior.

Davis continues to offer statistics that are tainted by a prejudicial interpretation.  In Rudy Davis’ attempt to prove that America is a tyranny, he refuses to acknowledge the fact    that other nations, particularly Communist or Fascist style dictatorships,  do not publish trustworthy statistics in regard to their own prison populations. It is a statistical falsehood to compare these different data bases.  I can recall that when I was young, that Soviet Union propaganda declared that they had no crime whatsoever! So how reliable are their statistics?

Rudy Davis explains, “That is why we built our website YearofJubile.com to gather the real facts about these prisoners so people can know the truth. Jack Ryan, a FBI special agent, stated on camera that the primary function of the FBI is to stop political dissent.  Erin and I have seen a pattern that they are targeting Christian dissidents for torture and death by prison.  We don’t have time today to cover the many horrific prison abuse stories we hear about inside these death camps.  Isaiah 59:14 says, And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off:  for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.”

So who is it that actually is guilty of turning judgment backward?  Let’s take a look at Mike Parsons and Rudy Davis as they consider a potential proselyte for their “domestic terrorist”, oops, “American political prisoner” ministry.

The October 6, 2018  Lonestar 1776 YouTube video, Mike Parsons Informs us about Michael Taylor Wilson, moves from a discussion of Rudy Davis’ speech on his ministry objectives to a felon named Taylor Michael Wilson who had been accused of a serious criminal incident on an Amtrak passenger train. Davis has posted the name incorrectly on his Lonestar 1776 channel, even after he claimed he saw numerous articles written on the internet about Wilson’s illegal stopping of an Amtrak train.

An October 5, 2018 article by Lori Pilger of the Lincoln Journal Star summarized the facts of the Wilson criminal sentencing in her headline: Prosecutor:  Missouri man who stopped Amtrak Train in Nebraska ‘presents a very real and present danger’. In addition to the primary criminal act,  Assistant U. S. Attorney Lesly Woods is quoted as telling the judge during the Taylor Michael Wilson sentencing hearing, that “An attack on African-Americans is an attack on Americans, period.”  This remark was in reference to Wilson’s argumentative behavior towards a black passenger on October 21, 2017, a day before “breaking into a secured compartment of the train where an engine was located, disabling it and trying to pull a gun from his waistband as a black conductor wrestled him to the ground.”  The effect on fellow train riders was that “some of the passengers panicked in the dark, trying to break out windows in fear after learning the train had been breached.”

During the LoneStar1776 video we are considering, Rudy goes into a rant about how cops are never held accountable.  So Mike Parsons chimes in at the 6.04 mark, saying, “Right, it’s rare that you’ll ever have a grand jury indict a cop and that’s by design because they’re just doing their job, and you know they had on the news today that this guy that was riding a train, oh, I can’t remember the guy’s name now, I don’t have his information right in front of me, but he’s just sentenced in federal prison to 14 years.  That’s, that’s insane.”

“What this guy’s accused of doing is they have claimed, they accused him of trying to derail a train.  He’s a paid passenger, okay, he’s visiting relatives, he’s got a weapons permit, he legally has a gun that he carries with a weapons permit, he’s lives in Missouri, going from California back to Missouri–is an emergency situation, otherwise he wouldn’t be riding a train.  And so he’s wandering around this train because it takes a long time as anybody who’s ever rode a train knows, so he walks in from one car into another.  Well this last car he walks into turns out to be an engine.”

“There’s a bunch of engines attached to this train and this one is unlocked.  Well, that’s not his fault that the door’s unlocked.  He didn’t jimmy and pry, rig it, didn’t do anything to be able to breach security.  He just walked in and there he said they’re looking at this engine compartment and like most young men nowadays, they, you know, have the mind of a 14-year-old when they’re looking at such as that and so he’s checking it out like you know any 14-year-old might be enthused about trains and trucks and airplanes and stuff.  He’s looking at it and he bumps into this lever which turns out to be a brake that slows the train down.  So they stopped the train and they go and they arrest him and they put him off the train.”

“Well, the guy hasn’t done anything illegal.  He’s been doing what he would normally do, which is walk around a train.  If they not had the door unlocked, then he wouldn’t have been in there so that’s their mistake.  But they come and put this crime because Monte Czaplewski, FBI special agent in charge of Grand Island, Nebraska in middle of nowhere America who’s trained in you know looking for terrorists, so behind every cornstalk is a terrorist.”

Rudy Davis:  “Yes.”

Mike Parsons:  “And it’s just a matter of finding them, so he creates terrorists.”

Rudy Davis:  “Amen. Amen.  That’s exactly right.”

Mike Parsons:  “He creates a crime.  Then he solves a crime so he accuses this guy of, well they arrest him, they released him on a bond, and before he can get back to his home, the FBI has gone through all his stuff and they find a business card for some I guess, there’s a company that advertises preparedness stuff, but they were also involved in sponsoring, I guess, some type of white nationalist rally or something like that.”

“Well he had nothing to do with that-he just, you know, shops on the internet so he goes to these various sites where they sell survival gear, you know, various things.  And all of a sudden, all of a sudden this guy’s accused of some kind of a masterminding some plot to derail the train because he is a white nationalist and he supposedly hates black people.  Well, funny thing there were only 2 black people on this whole train of 150 something so you know, it wasn’t exactly the Soul Train.”

October 9, 2018 Huffington Post article titled, “Neo-Nazi Convicted of Domestic Terrorism Was Among ‘Very Fine People’ At Unite the Right”

Rudy Davis:  “How old is this guy?  How old is this guy?”

Mike Parsons:  “Like 25.”

Rudy Davis:  “Wow.  Wow. 14 years-that’s upsetting.”

Mike Parsons:  “I’ve met the guy for three hours.  I sat there and listened to this guy and heard the whole story and he’s not into nothing.  He’s just a guy who’s traveling across country and they’re trying to make him out to be some huge villain.  Well now he’s sentenced to 14 years in the federal prison which means doing 85% of that-what? 12 years?”

Rudy Davis:  “Oh my God…yeah.”

Mike Parsons:  “This is destroying this young man’s life.”

Rudy DavisThis sounds like another candidate for our website, Man!”   (10.16)

Some testimony from the Criminal Complaint Affidavit filed by Special Agent Czapleski

Taylor Michael Wilson’s criminal case # 4:18-cr-03005-JMG-crz-1 in the U. S. District Court, District of Nebraska (4 Lincoln) was filed on January 17, 2018 and terminated on October 9, 2018.  Because of a plea deal, Wilson plead guilty to count 1 involving 18:1992(a), (10) and (b)(1) Terrorism Attacks and Other Violence Against Railroad Carriers and Against Mass Transportation Systems and count 2 was dismissed. The result is that Wilson was committed to the custody of the Bureau of Prisons for 168 months…and later will be given 5 years supervised release, and will owe a $100 Special Assessment, and $9,350 in restitution.

Monte R. Czaplewski, Special Agent, FBI investigated this case and provided an affidavit dated December 22, 2017, in support of a Criminal Complaint and Arrest Warrant for Taylor Michael Wilson, age 26, who lived in St. Charles, Missouri.

As Background, the FBI report  stated in part, that on Monday October 23, 2017, FBI Omaha received a report that the day prior at about 2 AM, that the Furnas County, Nebraska Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) in Beaver City, Nebraska received a 911 call from an Amtrak Conductor. “An Amtrak train traveling through Furnas County near Oxford, Nebraska, was delayed by a passenger who breached a secure area of the train and triggered an emergency stop control panel, applying the emergency brakes and causing the train to stop in an expedited (emergency) fashion.”

The train engineer and other Amtrak personnel detained the passenger outside the train for about an hour, waiting for the closest Deputy from FSCO to arrive on the scene.  The deputy located a fully loaded speedloader with .38 bullets  and a fully loaded 38 caliber handgun in Wilson’s front waistband.  Passengers on the train identified a backpack belonging to Wilson which contained three additional loaded speed loaders, a box of .38 ammunition, a hammer, a fixed blade knife, tin snips, scissors, a tape measure and a respirator-style mask.

Upon booking at the FSCO 2 business cards were found; one for the National Socialist Movement in Detroit, Michigan, and the other for the Covenant Nation Church in Alabama.  William Davidson of this latter group was later interviewed by the FBI and he explained that his church is a “Christian Identity” church which believe that “White people are part of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel”.

When interviewed, Wilson’s parents stated that their son had been on “a trip to California to attend a college visit on October 17, 2017, but the meeting was postponed due to California wildfires.”  Wilson was traveling with his cousin who shares a single family dwelling with him which is in the name of Wilson’s parents, although initially the parents claimed to the FBI that they did not know his exact address.  Wilson had been released on bond  December 11, 2017.

During the train incident with Taylor Michael Wilson, the Conductor on duty stated he and others “located Wilson at the controls of the engine.”  Wilson was “lucid then would start saying crazy things about going to the moon.”  The FBI interview of the Conductor stated that after Wilson was removed from the engineer’s chair, Wilson continually repeated, “What are you going to do, shoot me?” and after he was subdued goaded the Amtrak staff with “I’m the conductor, bitch”.

Wilson’s cousin told the FBI that Wilson had shown him between twenty and twenty-five guns that he owns, including an AK47, AR-15’s and an M-4 rifle and approximately ten rifles and ten handguns, at his residence.

On December 13, 2017 FBI St. Louis obtained a Federal Search Warrant from the Eastern District of Missouri for Wilson’s residence.  Agents located a hidden compartment behind the refrigerator which was camouflaged to hide “a tactical vest, 11 AR-15’s (rifle), ammunition magazines with approximately 190 rounds of .223 ammunition, one drum-style ammunition magazine for a rifle, firearms tactical accessories (lights), 100 rounds of 9 mm ammunition, approximately 840 rounds of 5.45×39 rifle ammunition, white supremacy documents and paperwork, several additional handgun and rifle magazines, gunpowder, ammunition reloading supplies, and a pressure plate5.  This pressure plate5 was examined by Bomb Technicians who said that a pressure plate is a common device used in the construction of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s).  Two of the firearms included a fully automatic rifle and a CZ Scorpion Evo3 converted to a short rifle, which were possible violations of federal firearms laws.

The FBI affidavit noted that during the execution of the search warrant, Wilson’s father had  arrived, and when it became evident that he knew of both the existence and location of his son’s firearms, the father consulted with his attorney, and later that afternoon provided agents with the firearms.

Several controversial publications were found on Wilson’s phone; however, I would like to note that one of them called 100 Deadly Skills, was a series of individual PDF files, “each with a skill related to killing people”.

Is Rudy Davis’ prison ministry conducted in accordance with the Scriptures?

I Timothy 5:20-22 says, Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.  I charge thee before the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.  Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins:  keep thyself pure.

We have already noted how Rudy and Erin Davis’s prison ministry differs from the average Christian ministry. The Davis’ are anti-government and have stated that they hate the FBI and want it abolished. There is no empathy for those victimized by lawbreakers. One of the very odd aspects of Rudy Davis is that while claiming to have Pastor Broden as his pastor, at the same time he desires to gain a new proselyte to his prison ministry, who is a White Nationalist who participated in a Unite the Right violent protest.

Huffington Post reporter, Andy Campbell wrote in his October 9, 2018 article, Neo-Nazi Convicted of Domestic Terrorism Was Among ‘Very Fine People’ At Unite the Right,  U.S. District Judge Gerrard told Wilson at his sentencing on Friday, that “ You now have a choice to make.  You can either renounce the white supremacist nonsense that you’ve been fed and go back to the way you were raised as a young man. Or you can coddle up to plenty of other white nationalists that you will find incarcerated.”

Perhaps Rudy Davis ought to reconsider his own choices, as well.