DEA agent pleads guilty to accepting Silk Road funds

Carl Mark Force IV could face up to 60 years in prison

A second federal agent has pleaded guilty to corruption charges related to the Silk Road, an online marketplace for drugs and fake IDs.

A second federal agent has pleaded guilty to corruption charges related to the Silk Road, an online marketplace for drugs and fake IDs.

A Drug Enforcement Administration agent intimately involved in the Silk Road investigation admitted on Wednesday he secretly accepted bitcoins from the underground website's operator and illegally took other funds.

Carl Mark Force IV, who was a DEA agent for 15 years, pleaded guilty to money laundering, obstruction of justice and extortion under color of official right, according to the plea agreement, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Force could face up to 20 years in prison on each of the counts.

Force, who was based in Baltimore, was part of a multi-agency task force investigating the Silk Road, an underground marketplace for goods such as drugs and fake ID documents. It was shut down in October 2013.

Its operator, Ross Ulbricht, was sentenced to two concurrent life sentences and 40 years of additional terms. Ulbricht plans to appeal based in part on the actions of Force and a Secret Service investigator, Shaun Bridges.

Force was accused of having the DEA freeze the account of a Silk Road user and transferring the $297,000 into his own personal account rather than to the agency.

He also took two payments of bitcoins directly from Ulbricht, totaling about $148,000, in 2013. Using two online nicknames -- French Maid and Nob -- he convinced Ulbricht he had inside information about federal investigations into the Silk Road.

Bridges, who was charged with money laundering and obstruction of justice, took more than $800,000 worth of bitcoins from Silk Road using a hijacked administrator account, the DOJ said. He also reached a plea agreement with prosecutors.

The involvement of two corrupt federal agents in the Silk Road investigation has given Ulbricht's attorney, Joshua Dratel, fuel for an appeal. He has claimed the investigation was flawed and that the government concealed evidence necessary for his client's defense.

Although Dratel knew of the investigation of Force during the trial, he was not allowed to introduce facts about it into evidence. The involvement of Bridges was revealed in March, weeks after Ulbricht was convicted on Feb. 4.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags U.S. Department of JusticeCriminalsecuritylegalcybercrime

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?