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Earlier today, a criminal complaint was revealed that shed some light on an investigation into former DEA agent Carl Mark Force IV. Force is accused of a variety of different crimes revolving around his investigation into the now defunct Silk Road, not least of which are multiple attempts at extorting money from the Dread Pirate Roberts (the administrator of Silk Road) without notifying the agency. In at least one of these extortion attempts, a death threat was made from an individual with the online moniker “Death from Above”, which was allegedly an online alias used by Force. It should be noted that the report claims Force was the “lead undercover agent in communication with DPR, the owner, administrator and operator of the Silk Road website.” It is also claimed that Force used at least three different pseudonyms while communicating with the Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR) in attempts to extort the Silk Road operator.
Selling information for 925 bitcoins as “Nob”
Force’s official online username that he was supposed to use to contact DPR was “Nob.” While using this name, Force allegedly attempted to sell information to DPR on two separate occasions. The first payment was eventually revealed to his colleagues working on the investigation, but a 525 bitcoin payment sent to “Nob” was hidden from his coworkers and sent to a bitcoin wallet believed to be owned by Carl Mark Force IV. In a DEA record of his own activities during this time period, Force claimed that “DPR made no such payment.” The bitcoins from that payment have been tracked to Force’s CampBX (a bitcoin exchange) account.
Major Silk Road govt corruption scandal revelation today that we’ve had to sit on for four months and were not permitted to use at trial.
— Joshua Dratel (@JDratel) March 30, 2015
Selling more information as “French Maid”
While “Nob” was supposed to be Force’s username when contacting DPR, he also allegedly conversed with the Silk Road admin via other monikers. As “French Maid”, Force allegedly pulled off an apparent fraud involving a meeting between the Baltimore task force working on the Silk Road investigation and Mark Karpeles. In his original message to DPR under this new name, Force stated, “I have received important information that you need to know asap. Please provide your public key for PGP. Carl.”
That’s right; it appears that Carl Mark Force IV accidentally signed a message to DPR with his real name. The report then quotes a text document recovered from Ross Ulbricht‘s computer during his arrest that states, “French Maid claims that mark karpeles has given my name to DHLS [sic]. I offered him $100K for the name.” Ulbricht later wrote that he paid for the information, but it’s unclear if a name was ever actually sent by “French Maid.”
[Read More: Ulbricht’s Diary Reveals Inner Workings of Silk Road]
And a death threat from “Death from Above”
Under a third alias, “Death from Above”, Force allegedly contacted DPR in an attempt to extort $250,000 from him. The opening message from “Death from Above” went as follows:
“I know that you had something to do with [C.G.’s] disappearance and death. Just wanted to let you know that I’m coming for you. Tuque. You are a dead man. Don’t think you can elude me. De Oppresso Liber.”
Law enforcement was looking at a potential suspect who could have been behind Silk Road at the time — known as “[AA]” in the report — and Force was allegedly using that information under the “Death from Above” name to extort money out of DPR. The report notes that it doesn’t seem a payment ever materialized from DPR. A note found on Ulbricht’s laptop stated, “guy blackmailing me who says he has my ID is bogus.”
“[C.G.]” appears to be a reference to Curtis Clark Green, who Ulbricht allegedly tried to have killed after suspecting that Green had been stealing funds from Silk Road. Ironically, the hitman Ulbricht is accused of hiring to kill Green was “Nob” (Force’s other pseudonym). Even more ironically, Force was also allegedly stealing funds from Silk Road during this time.
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