Local

Witnesses Describe Dramatic Arrest Of Alleged Drug Kingpin Inside SF Library

View Comments
Ross William Ulbricht of San Francisco during an interview on YouTube. Ulbricht is accused of running the Silk Road, a black market website where people bought and sold illegal drugs and services. (YouTube / CBS)

Ross William Ulbricht of San Francisco during an interview on YouTube. Ulbricht is accused of running the Silk Road, a black market website where people bought and sold illegal drugs and services. (YouTube / CBS)

HollyQuan20100908_KCBS_0017r Holly Quan
Holly was born and raised in Oakland and she graduated from San...
Read More

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The dramatic arrest inside a San Francisco public library of a man accused of running an underground drug website has become the talk of the neighborhood.

Witnesses described what played out in the Glen Park branch library Tuesday like a scene from a television police show as undercover FBI agents quietly surrounded 29-year-old Ross Ulbricht, confiscated his laptop and placed him in handcuffs.

First, a woman approached Ulbricht as he sat at a large table and screamed, “I’m so sick of you,” then lunged in to seize his computer.

“He started to get a little bit agitated. He gets up, and I’m guessing he’s going to go ahead and try and grab his own laptop back,” said a witness who asked not to be identified publicly.

Then the other patrons seated at the table got up to surround and corner him against a wall.

“They politely ask him to turn around, put his hands behind his back. One of them breaks out cuffs and they cuff him,” the witness continued.

The unusual arrest became surreal as the people surrounding Ulbricht shed their outer layers to reveal blue FBI vests.

Ulbricht is due in court Friday to face charges of narcotics trafficking, computer hacking and money laundering for operating a website called Silk Road that allowed users to anonymously browse ads for drugs and other illegal services that could be paid for with the Internet currency Bitcoin.

The undercover agent who provoked the incident took a look at all of the witnesses and said, “Surprise,” as the agents left with their suspect in custody.

Not even the librarian knew what was going on as the agents headed for the exit.

Investigators say Ulbricht collected tens of millions of dollars in commissions connecting drug dealers with buyers, and is facing a separate indictment in Maryland for allegedly plotting to have two people killed in order to protect his business.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 57,039 other followers