A federal judge Thursday denied a petition to release alleged Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht from jail before trial, concluding that the bail proposal his defense team presented wasn't strong enough to dispel worries that the 29- year-old would try to flee.
Following the ruling in Manhattan, disappointed sighs were heard from members of Ulbricht's family.
His lawyer had proposed a bail package worth $1 million that restricted Ulbricht's movements and cut off his access to the Internet. But a federal prosecutor argued there was reason to believe Ulbricht would try to leave the country if released, and that his alleged participation in six murder-for-hire plots rendered him too dangerous to remain outside of jail.
Ulbricht was arrested in San Francisco on Oct. 1 and charged with counts relating to drug trafficking, money laundering and computer hacking, all stemming from his alleged involvement in the anonymous Internet marketplace Silk Road, which sold drugs and criminal services in exchange for the digital currency Bitcoin. After Ulbricht's arrest, the government shut down the website.
Ulbricht also faces charges in Maryland relating to a murder-for-hire plot.
At yesterday's hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Serrin Turner told Magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis, "The evidence . . . is absolutely overwhelming against the defendant."-- Reuters