The Silk Road saga continues with the indictment of James Ellingson, known by numerous aliases on the platform, most famously as ‘redandwhite’. But is he in the US? Is he possibly even in the same establishment as Variety Jones?
Last week, a certain James Ellingson was charged with drug and money laundering offences connected to Silk Road, and his indictment was unsealed. Known on Silk Road by several handles (the indictment is for James Ellingson, a/k/a ‘redandwhite,’ a/k/a ‘MarijuanaisMyMuse,’ a/k/a ‘Lucydrop,’) Ellingson is another fascinating character in the Silk Road story.
The drugs he is alleged to have sold through Silk Road (more than four kilograms of methamphetamine, more than 100 grams of heroin, more than two kilograms of cocaine, more than six grams of LSD, approximately seven kilograms of MDMA, and more than 19 kilograms of marijuana according to the indictment) are the least interesting part of the tale. Ellingson’s story revolves around one of Silk Road’s greatest scams and is central to those murder-for-hire allegations that have caused so much trouble for Ross Ulbricht (DPR) and Roger Clark (Variety Jones).
The whole saga is way too long and convoluted to repeat here, but a brief recap (and basic Silk Road knowledge is essential to comprehend this): in 2013, a desperate vendor named FriendlyChemist claimed he owed $700,000 to the Hells Angels for LSD that disappeared along with another vendor, Lucydrop. FriendlyChemist decided to blackmail the Silk Road’s owner, Dread Pirate Roberts , threatening to reveal sensitive user information unless he received $500,000 to pay off his debt. DPR, wanting to negotiate with the Hells Angels directly, was then contacted by “redandwhite”, who claimed to represent the aggrieved party.
The situation escalated when DPR, believing that FriendlyChemist was a liability, ordered a hit on him through redandwhite. After sending proof of the execution of FriendlyChemist, redandwhite provided DPR with the name of another Canadian involved in the scheme, Tony76, DPR’s greatest nemesis. DPR ordered another hit on Tony76 as well as his roommates, which redandwhite claimed was carried out successfully, charging DPR a hefty amount in Bitcoin.
However, upon investigation, the authorities found no evidence of the alleged murders. This led to the theory that redandwhite and Lucydrop were the same person, something which has allegedly been confirmed by blockchain analysis.
I always assumed that redandwhite was FriendlyChemist as well, but the indictment treats FriendlyChemist as a separate person (though this just means there’s no blockchain evidence linking them, as there is also no indication that FriendlyChemist exists). What would make it even more epic is if Ellingson is also Tony76, but that might be a bit of a stretch.
In any event, it is pretty clear that DPR was scammed out of a substantial stash of Bitcoin by redandwhite, unknowingly setting himself up for numerous allegations of conspiracy to commit murders that never actually happened.
But where is James now?
Ever since his initial arrest in Canada and the US’s claim that it was seeking to extradite him, there’s been radio silence about the whereabouts of James Ellingson. He was not immediately locked up. However as the DoJ announcement “thanked the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs for their assistance in the extradition proceedings” it sounds like he could be in the United States, possibly even the MCC in New York, but his name doesn’t come up in the BOP Inmate finder.
If anyone knows, drop me a line. I’m hoping to be in NYC shortly to conduct some interviewsin preparation for a re-release of my first book, Silk Road. I recently got the rights reverted to me and plan to update it significantly with ALL the known information, stories, and dramas that we now know.
And on the topic of the new book, if you’d like to help me out with getting there, please consider throwing a little crypto my way:
*n.b. this is an exchange address – Only ETH deposits via the standard Ethereum network are accepted. Deposits sent from an unsupported network i.e. Binance Smart Chain, Arbitrum or KCC etc. will not be received and are unrecoverable