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| June 26, 2019

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Cardi B Enters Her Plea

June 25, 2019 |

Grammy-winning rapper Cardi B was arraigned Tuesday on new felony charges in connection with a fight last year at a New York City strip club, the AP reports. “Not guilty, sir, honor,” said the rapper dressed in a dark blue and light pink pantsuit with her hair tinted blue as…
Newser

Billionaire Pedophile’s Controversial Plea Deal Must Stand: Prosecutors

June 25, 2019 |

A once-secret plea deal reached a decade ago with wealthy convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein must stand, despite objections from many of his victims who were teenagers at the time, federal prosecutors said in a new court filing. Prosecutors said a violation of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act does not…
Newser

White House rejects carmakers’ plea for a deal with California on emissions

June 10, 2019 |

The White House is moving forward with plans to significantly weaken vehicle pollution standards, rejecting a last-minute appeal to President Trump by some of the world’s largest car manufacturers to restart negotiations with California.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said Friday…


L.A. Times – Business

Plea Bargain Means Silk Road 2 Admin Will Likely See No Prison Time

June 1, 2019 |

Plea Bargain Shows Silk Road 2 Admin Will Likely See No Prison Time

Following the sentencing of Thomas White, the founder of the Silk Road 2 (SR2) marketplace during the first week of April, another SR2 administrator may evade prosecution. According to reports, SR2 admin Blake Benthall cooperated with global law enforcement and may only face fines for avoiding taxes. The news of the two SR2 admins’ sentences further aggrieved Ross Ulbricht’s family who believe there’s a disparity between their son’s double life sentence and others who have seen minimal charges.

Also read: Silk Road 2 Founder Finally Sentenced 5 Years After His Arrest

SR2 Admin ‘Defcon’ Gets a Slap on the Wrist — No Jail and Tax Fines

Ross Ulbricht has been in jail for years, having been sentenced to double life in prison with no chance of parole for his role with the original Silk Road (SR) marketplace. After the underground market was shut down, a slew of other darknet marketplaces (DNM) appeared and picked up where the first SR left off. One of these markets was Silk Road 2 and the founder even called himself the Dread Pirate Roberts 2. The DNM was eventually taken down by law enforcement and a few vendors and admins were arrested during the investigation.

Thomas White (DPR2) and Blake Benthall (Defcon) were both arrested but they both were also let out on bail since their initial arrests. White was recently sentenced to five years in prison but spent the last few years living normally and even using the name ‘The Cthulhu’ online to comment on tech articles that dealt with subjects like privacy and Tor. No one really knew what happened to Benthall and it seemed he escaped the punishment of the court system.

Plea Bargain Means Silk Road 2 Admin Will Likely See No Prison Time
Blake Benthall aka Defcon, a Silk Road 2 admin.

However, according to a document obtained by Motherboard, Benthall worked with law enforcement and will likely get off with no prison time. “If the defendant fully complies with the understandings specified in this agreement, he will not be further prosecuted criminally by this Office for any crimes, except for criminal tax violations,” the document from the Assistant United States Attorney details. The record also states that if Benthall cooperates “no testimony or other information given by him will be used against him in any criminal tax prosecution.” Basically Benthall will be required to pay the taxes he did not pay throughout 2013 and 2014 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, but otherwise he will remain a free man.

Plea Bargain Means Silk Road 2 Admin Will Likely See No Prison Time
Blake Benthall has been out of jail since his initial arrest in 2014.

Ulbricht Family Sees a ‘Grotesque Sentencing Disparity’ Between Other DNM Admins and the Double Life Sentence Ross Received

Benthall’s state prosecutors and his defense team declined to comment to the press about the recent document. After hearing the news, the Ulbricht family was upset to see another DNM admin get a slap on the wrist compared to their son’s draconian sentencing. The Free Ross Twitter account spoke up about the subject after the news of Benthall’s deal was made public. “But wait, I thought if you ran a Silk Road you were too dangerous to ever be let out of a cage — I’m so confused,” the Free Ross account tweeted. So far there’s been a significant sentencing disparity between Ross and the many other DNM admins and creators. For instance, SR’s biggest drug dealer, Jon Slomp, only received 10 years, the two corrupt federal agents Carl Force and Sean Bridges only saw 6-8 years, and then Thomas White was only given a 5-year sentence.

Plea Bargain Means Silk Road 2 Admin Will Likely See No Prison Time

The family is shocked by the “grotesque disparity between Ross’s life sentence” and have emphasized that “it is wildly excessive and disproportionate to those imposed on others for similar, or worse, conduct.”

“Ross, a young, first-time offender, was never prosecuted for causing harm or bodily injury, and no victim was named at trial,” the Freeross.org website states in regard to the sentencing inconsistencies for DNM operators and vendors. “All his charges at trial were non-violent — His walking death sentence is grossly excessive and disproportionate, and its injustice is manifest.” The family further underscored:

Such a sentencing disparity flies in the face of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and the Sentencing Reform Act.

The Ulbricht family has started a petition on Change.org in order to get U.S. President Donald Trump to pardon Ross. At press time, 170,539 people have signed the petition and the family is hoping to get a lot more signatures.

What do you think about Blake Benthall (Defcon) not getting any jail time while Ross Ulbricht got two life sentences? Do you think there is a problem with the sentencing disparity between these individuals? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Bitcoin Wiki, and Freeross.org.


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The post Plea Bargain Means Silk Road 2 Admin Will Likely See No Prison Time appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

TMZ

‘Varsity Blues’ Ringleader Rick Singer Still Living Large Despite Bribery Plea

May 8, 2019 |

Rick Singer, the man who pulled all the strings in the massive college admissions bribery case, is living the Porsche lifestyle while the clients he ratted out face years in prison. Shirtless Rick was chillin’ at a public pool Tuesday in St.…

TMZ.com

White Supremacists Issue Their Plea

May 4, 2019 |

Two members of a white supremacist group pleaded guilty Friday to federal rioting charges in connection with a white nationalist rally in Virginia and political rallies in California, the AP reports. Benjamin Drake Daley, 26, of Redondo Beach, Calif., and Michael Paul Miselis, 30, of Lawndale, Calif., each pleaded guilty…
Newser

CNN

Saudi sisters go public in plea for help: ‘We are in danger’

April 19, 2019 |

Two Saudi sisters who planned their escape for almost five years and are now seeking asylum in the country of Georgia have revealed their identities in a plea for international help.
CNN.com – RSS Channel – World

TMZ

William H. Macy Turns to Home Chores After Felicity Huffman Cops Plea

April 9, 2019 |

William H. Macy’s fully focused on getting a fresh start … around his house, now that Felicity Huffman’s agreed to strike a plea deal. The actor was seen leaving an L.A. home improvement store Tuesday with a couple of brand new hoses in each…

TMZ.com

TMZ

Lori Loughlin Offered 2 Years Minimum Prison Sentence in Plea Negotiations

April 9, 2019 |

Lori Loughlin and her husband are in a way worse position than Felicity Huffman … because the huge amount they allegedly paid in bribes to get their daughters into USC could land them in prison for 2 YEARS MINIMUM … TMZ has learned. Sources…

TMZ.com

TMZ

R. Kelly’s Lawyer Says Jussie Smollett Dismissal Makes Plea Bargain Unlikely

April 1, 2019 |

Jussie Smollett getting off scot-free is bad news for R. Kelly, because prosecutors might be itching for a big win … so worries the singer’s lawyer. Steven Greenberg tells TMZ … the outcome of Jussie’s criminal case in Cook County — in which…

TMZ.com