Carl Force, one of the two Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents accused of extorting and stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Silk Road during the time the online drug bazaar was being taken offline and investigated, has pleaded guilty to charges according to new court documents filed Monday.
Force is one of the two agents accused of extorting the black market founder and both were arrested under such charges back in March. The other accused agent, Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges also agreed to plead guilty last week.
Accused agents sentencing will occur at a later date in the year, but Force has agreed to initiate his guilty plea to take effect July 1.
Agents were caught red handed with evidence and were taken to federal court where it was reveled that Force used multiple online aliases to communicate with Ross William Ulbricht, the alleged founder and operator behind the wildly successfully black market for drugs and illicit services, the Silk Road. Force allegedly used an account labeled “Nob” to bust online drug dealers, where he was then able to convince Ulbricht to setup a fake hit, or assassination, against another drug website administrator.
Force also created another online alias under “French Maid” which his staffers or employees were not aware of at the time.
According to agent reports, Force offered Ulbricht inside information on the government’s investigation into the Silk Road under both online aliases. Ulbricht paid both of Force’s faulty accounts for alleged counter-intelligence. What information Force gave Ulbricht was not made clear in the case.
Force took two payments from Ulbricht, worth a accumulated total of $90,000 in bitcoin under his work account, Nob. On Force’s personal account, he accepted a single payment of $100,000 in bitcoin, unknown to his staffers.
Coming in under a third personality, Force created “Death from Above” in hopes of extorting Ulbricht for $250,000, with blackmail that he was aware of Ulbricht’s identity during the time he was anonymous. At the time Force was unaware or Ulbricht’s real identity and his extortion plan backfired and failed entirely.
During Force’s investigation, accusers found large amounts of wrongdoing on Force’s part, including working for a “digital currency exchange company” called CointMKT. Force was caught abusing his position as a DEA agents to help the company perform criminal background checks. The documents cite one case where Force froze $297,000 worth of bitcoin from a CoinMKT customer, and transferred the total to his personal account.
Both agents accused, Force and Bridges, worked for a Baltimore-based task force where they knew each other, but were allegedly running separate long term schemes. Bridges abused his position to steal admin credentials from the Silk Road to lock dealers from their accounts and drain their bitcoins into his personal account. Bridges operation gained him a some $820,000 in bitcoin.
Agents corrupt investigation was still ongoing through Ulbricht’s trial, who went up in January this year. Due to this, Ulbricht’s lawyer is arguing that since Ulbricht was prevented from speaking with the corrupt agents, he was unable to receive a fair trial after he was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Prosecutors argued that the investigation must be kept secret during the time of operation, and convinced U.S. District Judge Katherine Forresst that the corrupt agents investigation was kept separate in Baltimore, away from federal officials investigation that they claim took place in New York.