We previously stated that Ross Ulbricht was not indicted for planned violence. We have recently learned that, while this is true of the Indictment in the Southern District of NY where Ross was arraigned, it is not true in Maryland.
Our error and confusion was due to the prosecution’s statement that the Southern District of New York took precedence in the case. We incorrectly thought this meant that whatever was in the New York indictment, and that Ross was arraigned for, was the final word and that the case was now under New York’s jurisdiction. We never meant to mislead and sincerely apologize for our error.
Although initially charged with planning six murders, Ross was not indicted in New York for any. In November prosecutor Serrin Turner used the murder-for-hire allegations to argue against bail being granted, yet he did not indict Ulbricht for these allegations in February. In addition, no victim is named in the prosecution’s complaint alleging murder for hire , and the FBI affidavit states that there is no record of any actual homicide.
However, there is still an indictment in Maryland alleging one murder-for-hire crime. Because we are convinced it is false, we predict that this remaining accusation of planned violence will go the way of the other five.
To be clear, these claims are mentioned in one of the counts of the NY indictment, but as an “uncharged crime.” This is not a charge, requires no proof and, according to Ross’ attorney, is put there for prejudicial purposes. In addition, Ross’ attorneys say that an indictment requires the lowest standard of proof in our legal system, well below what is required in a civil case. It is a secret procedure that provides no protection for the accused. Rather, the prosecutor can indict anyone for anything in federal court, simply based on hearsay.