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Accused Silk Road mastermind pleads not guilty

Published on Feb 8, 2014 3:53 AM
Mr Ross Ulbricht, who prosecutors say created the underground online drugs marketplace Silk Road, makes an initial court appearance in New York, February 7, 2014. He pleaded not guilty to a four-count indictment unveiled Tuesday that included charges of money laundering conspiracy and engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise. --PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - The accused mastermind of the online black market bazaar Silk Road pleaded not guilty Friday to drug and money laundering charges in federal court in New York.

Mr Ross William Ulbricht, 29, wearing a blue prison suit for his arraignment, denied four criminal charges in a case that has opened a window onto the shadowy world of online crime.

Authorities claim Mr Ulbricht is the infamous "Dread Pirate Roberts" who operated the underground site, an encrypted network that allegedly sold illicit items including drugs, hacker tools and "hit" services to kill people.

US District Judge Katherine Forrest set a trial date of November 3 in the case. Most of Friday's hearing focused on logistics of the handoff computer data and other evidence that will be turned over to the defense.

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