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Did Dread Pirate Roberts get scammed on an alleged hit?

According to FBI documents, Dread Pirate Roberts claims to have carried out one hit and was haggling on price for another. But was he the victim of an elaborate hoax?

Did DPR really fall for a hitman hoax like this?
Did DPR really fall for a hitman hoax like this?

According to the FBI’s Criminal Complaint, Silk Road’s owner, the Dread Pirate Roberts, sought to engage a hitman to deal with a blackmailer who was threatening to expose names and addresses of some of the site’s top vendors. DPR allegedly exchanged messages with someone called “redandwhite” who offered to carry out the hit for between $150,000 and $300,000 depending on whether DPR wanted the hit to be “clean or unclean”.

DPR apparently baulked at this price, stating he had previously had a clean hit carried out for $80,000.  The two eventually settled on a price of $150,000.

According to the document, the FBI intercepted a transaction record reflecting the transfer of 1,670 Bitcoins to a certain Bitcoin address. Approximately 24 hours later redandwhite wrote: “Your problem has been taken care of. . . . Rest easy though, because he won’t be blackmailing anyone again. Ever.”  The report goes on to say:

Subsequent messages reflect that, at DPR’s request, redandwhite sent DPR a picture of the victim after the job was done, with random numbers written on a piece of paper next to the victim that DPR had supplied. On April 5, 2013, DPR wrote redandwhite: “I’ve received the picture and deleted it. Thank you again for your swift action.”

But then the report also says there was no record of “any Canadian resident with the name DPR passed to redandwhite as the target of the solicited murder-for–hire. Nor do they have any record of a homicide occurring in White Rock, British Columbia on or about March 31, 2013.”

So it appears DPR was the victim of an elaborate hoax – someone who claimed to have details of vendors contacted DPR under the name “FriendlyChemist” with an extortion attempt for $500,000 not to reveal them.  Then the mysterious “redandwhite” contacted him offering to kill FriendlyChemist. DPR paid around $150K for what appears to be a phantom hit.

Does anyone believe DPR has previously had a hit carried out? Was he the butt of an elaborate hoax? And the Canadian connection… Tony76 is that you?

Edit: of course, it seems Reddit is already dissecting this. Here’s one quote from user Pop_Dog:

The only reasonable explanation is that DPR knew the “debtor” was really FriendlyChemist himself, and he was posturing about how easily he could have a hit on him. FriendlyChemist thought he had tricked DPR so he had no reason to suspect that DPR wouldn’t in-fact order a hit especially whe he was willing to pay twice the price. Realizing the danger he was in, and knowing that if he did not agree to the “hit” (on himself) someone else would be paid to do it, so he accepted the lowest price of 150k and faked an assissination for proof.

In reality, DPR bought off the potential blackmail attempt for 1/3 of the asking price and ensured FriendlyChemist would be too afraid to try anything with the information in the future.

UPDATE:  Apparently the first ($80,000) hit was arranged with an undercover agent. Read the Maryland indictment here and Patrick O’Neill’s article for Daily Dot here.

5 Responses

  1. I wouldn’t have ever thought DPR would do that. Even now, I am skeptical. When I first discovered SR, I did tons of research, including reading many clearnet websites, and the SR forums. Everything points to DPR believing in freedom without hurting. The Silk Roads rule for things sold is (paraphrased): “You can only sell something if it doesn’t hurt anyone, or didn’t hurt anyone to bring to market.” SR therefore excludes stolen items, weapons of massive collateral damage (things like nuclear items, self defense items were beginning to be accepted) or *assassinations*. The point is, according to any public messages by DPR or other important figures of SR, hurting is bad.
    The unfortunate thing, though, is that we will never know for sure. He could have changed to those values afterwards, or he may have broken under blackmail pressure. All I can do is take the intelligent route, and be skeptical.

  2. I am VERY sceptical about this claim that DPR hired a hitman.For what reason?
    The claim that someone threatened him with revealing the identity (names and addresses) of thousands of vendors??? Does anyone seriously believe that ANY vendor at all revealed such info? They were totally anonymous!! That you can be 100% sure. A total fabrication.

  3. He was a libertarian, yes, but that doesn’t preclude violence. Unprovoked violence is what libertarians are against (myself included). If I were a drug dealer, I would have done the same thing, and I would NOT be in violation of my libertarian principles – the proper course of action is to use law enforcement to deal with those sorts of problems, but as drugs are illegal and the current regime is corrupt, taking things into your hands is the best course of action.

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