Judges ques­tion sen­tence for drug-sell­ing web­site’s founder

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Larry Neumeis­ter

A Man­hat­tan fed­eral ap­peals panel Thurs­day ques­tioned whether the life pri­son term given to the San Fran­cisco founder of the drug-sell­ing web­site Silk Road was too harsh.

Hear­ing oral ar­gu­ments on the con­vic­tion and sen­tenc­ing of Ross Ul­bricht, at least two mem­bers of a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals seemed con­cerned that the sen­tenc­ing judge in May 2015 may have re­lied too much on the govern­ment’s char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of at least six deaths from drugs bought on the un­der­ground web­site.

Judge Jon O. Newman said he found it un­usual for a man in his early 30s with no crim­i­nal record who was not deal­ing drugs him­self to re­ceive a life sen­tence.

“Isn’t that quite a leap to have that kind of sen­tence im­posed?” he asked As­sis­tant U.S. At­tor­ney Eun Young Choi.

“Your honor, I don’t think that it is,” she an­swered, ex­plain­ing the enor­mous reach of the un­prece­dented on­estop on­line shop­ping mall where the sup­ply of drugs was lim­it­less, en­abling nearly 4,000 drug deal­ers to ex­pand their mar­kets from the side­walk to cy­berspace.

The govern­ment says drugs were sold for nearly three years to more than 100,000 buy­ers in mar­kets stretch­ing from Ar­gentina to Aus­tralia, from the United States to Ukraine.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.