Bitcoin has been around for longer than one thinks. It was introduced in 2009 but gained attention only after its use picked up on the deep web online marketplace – Silk Road. Silk Road was one of the most prominent and successful deep web marketplaces where people could buy virtually anything ranging from drugs, contraband to hitmen (claim open for debate). In order to make a purchase on Silk Road, one had to pay only with Bitcoin.,
The use of Bitcoin in the deep web gained everyone’s attention, including that of law enforcement agencies. In order to put a stop to this illegal trade, the US law enforcement agencies namely, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and US Secret Service created a joint investigation team. The team was responsible for the investigation and successful apprehension of Ross Ulbricht – the creator of Silk Road. However, the investigation had its own share of misadventures.
It was later found out that two law enforcement officers who were part of the Silk Road investigation were responsible for illegally obtaining bitcoin belonging to Silk Road and Ross Ulbricht. The two officers – Carl Force from US Drug Enforcement Agency and Shaun Bridges from US Secret Service later pled guilty to money laundering, extortion and illegal possession of stolen property. They were subsequently sentenced to prison.
However, now the US government believes that the US Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges actually stole more bitcoin than they believed earlier. There is a possibility of Shaun Bridges being involved in multiple extortion bids against Ross Ulbricht in exchange for information about the investigation against Silk Road and Ross Ulbricht.
Shaun Bridges was convicted of possessing $800,000 worth in bitcoin which belonged to Ross Ulbricht and Silk Road. The governments doubts were made public after it filed a response to Shaun Bridges’ request to unseal the search and Seizure warrants issued for his arrest.
The court records were obtained and shared by CoinDesk, a cryptocurrency news website. Find a copy of the US Government’s response to Shaun’s request.