Elite FBI cyber investigators bring viewers inside the takedown of the mastermind behind a website offering drugs, guns — even murders for hire were discussed — in “The FBI Declassified: The Dangerous Journey on the Silk Road” airing Tuesday, November 10 at 10/9c on CBS.
In 2013, 29-year-old Ross Ulbricht was arrested by the FBI for running a website called. On the site, people from around the world could buy and sell illicit drugs, weapons, poisons, and services such as computer hacking. In Silk Road forums, users could even discuss murders-for-hire. In the three years of its existence, Silk Road racked up more than $200 million in total sales revenue, with Ulbricht taking a cut on each sale.
Ulbricht created Silk Road out of a desire to have an open marketplace where people could buy and trade anything they wanted, without government regulation. To maintain users’ and his own anonymity, Ulbricht set up Silk Road on the dark web, a part of the internet invisible to traditional search engines.
Silk Road did not accept cash or credit cards; users had to pay with bitcoin, a. All transactions were encrypted and hence untraceable. Those activities put the site on the radar of multiple law enforcement agencies, including the FBI’s elite New York cyber team.