Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht’s first published letter from prison addressed supporters and attendees of this year’s liberty-focused New Hampshire event known as PorcFest. In the letter, Ulbricht expressed disappointment about not being able to attend the event, and he wrote about the upcoming struggles that will ensue in appealing his life sentence. He concluded the letter seeking financial support to continue his fight against “outright corruption” stemming from the government.
Ulbricht’s mother Lyn attended PorcFest last year to give a speech about her son’s case while Ross was awaiting trial, and also attended the event this year to provide insight in light of the Silk Road documentary Deep Web and the aftermath of Ross’s trial and sentencing.
The letter, first posted to FreeRoss.org, read:
I am writing to you from my cell in New York City. Sorry I couldn’t make it this year. Unfortunately the worst case scenario has played out for me and I’ve been sentenced to spend the rest of my life in prison. I am an eternal optimist though and will never give up hope for my release. I have confidence that the appeals court will recognize the errors by some and outright corruption by others in the government and give me some sort of remedy. It could be a new trial, where hopefully the whole story can be told or the case could be dismissed altogether.
In many ways, my struggle is just getting started now that it’s going to the higher courts, so I still need your help. Mounting an effective appeal is not easy. I’m confident in my team, but there’s only so much we can do without your donations. What we can be sure of is that the government will spend as many of your tax dollars as needed to keep me behind bars, so please help however you can. I hope my story has shed light on some of the issues we face these days. There are many, but please don’t let what’s happened to me lead you to despair. Keep standing for liberty and respect for our rights. Keep fighting for your freedom and evenutally we will win.
A few words in the letter regarding “semantics and incorrect use of legal terms” were changed at the request of Ulbricht’s attorney and with Ulbricht’s approval.
Ulbricht appeared to make note of “outright corruption” from the government to directly reference two federal agents assigned to a Silk Road investigation who allegedly stole massive sums of money from the site and were later charged with fraud after Ulbricht’s trial had begun.
Ulbricht’s defense team has pointed out numerous times that the alleged actions and legal consequences related to the agents, Carl Force and Shaun Bridges, were hidden from the defense until just before the trial began. It has been argued that the two compromised the entire investigation and trial.
Bridges allegedly took over a Silk Road staffer’s account to steal over $800,000 worth of bitcoin. Force allegedly used several false identities to extort money multiple times from Ulbricht and signed a contract with 20th Century Fox, without telling his superiors, to be paid up to $240,000 for offering his story to be used in a movie about Silk Road.