I believe Ross Ulbricht is innocent of all the charges brought against him.
I often hear, “Of course you do. You’re his mother.” True, but my opinion is not simply based on emotion. The charges just don’t add up. And they are antithetical to Ross’ character and how he lived.
Like everyone else, I have not seen evidence supporting the allegations. I have no inside information, but have only read government claims and media reports of those claims. Presumably evidence will be presented and challenged at trial.
We now also know that, by its own admission, the FBI has no documentation of how they found the Silk Road server, which comprises the bulk of its evidence. Without forensic documentation there is no guarantee that the evidence is valid or even that it wasn’t fabricated. I am not sure how, under these circumstances, we can believe their allegations. In addition, there is widespread skepticism among experts regarding the FBI explanation, many saying it’s impossible.
However, even beyond the shadiness around the server and the doubts it presents, I can unequivocally say I believe Ross is not guilty. Objectively evaluating the counts against him, I do not believe Ross trafficked in narcotics; aided or abetted others to pull off drug deals; conspired with others to sell drugs; or sold them on the internet. As far as his being a kingpin and controlling a big drug enterprise, this would be laughable if not so serious. I also don’t believe he hacked into a computer or conspired with others to do that. And I don’t believe he laundered money or conspired with others to sell false IDs. As far as I know, no tangible evidence exists to corroborate the prosecution’s allegations that any of these actions even occurred.
In addition I know my son very well, and am in close communication with many of his friends and family. We all agree that several things don’t make sense.
A few of them include:
- Ross has never been motivated by money (demonstrated by his modest lifestyle). Money would be the motivation to be a drug dealer/kingpin or sell false IDs.
- None of his family, friends, housemates or neighbors ever saw any signs that Ross was trafficking in drugs or anything else.
- Law enforcement found no sign of drugs in his room when they searched it after his arrest.
- Ross has never personally been into drugs or the drug culture. Yes, some media made a big deal about a joke he made on a video referring to high school experimentation 14 years ago. I’m saying he has not been “into” drugs or hung out with people who were. It’s just not what Ross is interested in. This is corroborated by numerous friends in many places, so it’s not just a mother speaking.
- None of his writings ever mention drugs.
When I speak about this case I focus on its wider implications because they will impact us all. However, false charges against an innocent person are serious enough. Ross is a man of his word and is pleading not guilty. For the record, I, his father, his family and friends believe him, as do others who know him.