NEW YORK—”Did the defendant share a secret with you?” prosecutor Timothy Howard asked the gaunt computer engineer on the stand. If he wanted to stay out of prison, 31-year-old Richard Bates, once a close friend of Ross Ulbricht’s, had no choice but to answer.
“Yes, he did,” Bates answered, his voice quaking. “He revealed that he created and ran the Silk Road website.”
Ulbricht was on trial in federal court on Thursday, accused of running the Silk Road drug-trafficking website. If convicted, he faces a potential sentence of life in prison. It’s the second week of a trial expected to last two to four weeks.
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