According to a federal indictment, two federal agents have been arrested on Monday relating to charges of stealing money while working undercover on an investigation into Silk Road, the once-popular black market website for drug dealing and other illegal activities.
The documents highlight that the former agents are DEA employee Carl Mark Force IV, and Shaun Bridges, employed by the Secret Service.
Of note, the charges were laid out in a lengthy criminal complaint unsealed Monday morning. The complaint is signed by Tigran Gambaryan, a special agent with the Internal Revenue Service.
Details on Silk Road investigation bitcoin theft
The agents were actively involved in a federal investigations into drug website Silk Road based in Baltimore, but a separate Manhattan-based investigation eventually led to charges against Silk Road’s founder, Ross W. Ulbricht. Ulbricht was convicted earlier this year on several criminal counts and is awaiting sentencing.
Force, while investigating Silk Road, “stole and converted to his own personal use a sizable amount of Bitcoins,” the digital currency used by buyers and sellers on the website, which he obtained in his undercover capacity, according to the complaint.
“Rather than turning those Bitcoin over to the government, Force deposited them into his own personal accounts,” the documents allege.
More on Silk Road
A number of sources have confirmed the claim that several thousand drug dealers and other vendors set up shop on Silk Road from January 2011 through October 2013 to sell illegal drugs and other items to over 100,000 buyers.
Of note, the hidden illicit website brought in $213 million in revenue during that 33 months, and Ulbricht (screen name of Dread Pirate Roberts) made millions of dollars in profits.
Experts note that Silk Road was especially popular among buyers and sellers because it offered anonymity. It was hidden in the Internet, where it was very difficult for law enforcement to find it. Moreover, all deals on Silk Road were transacted in Bitcoins, a new, nearly impossible to trace digital currency.
Criminal complaint unsealed