A Maryland federal undercover agent has played a key role in the apprehension of a person suspected of major Internet drug dealing and plotting to have a witness eliminated. The 29-year-old San Francisco area man is believed to have built up a lucrative narcotics business since 2011 called the Silk Road. The defendant’s website is also alleged to contain procedures for hacking ATM machines and lists of hit men for hire.
The man has also been charged with attempted witness murder in Maryland following a grand jury investigation. The prosecution has built a case showing how the defendant was willing to have associates murdered if he felt they would act as witnesses against him and bring down his profitable business.
One of the defendant’s employees was arrested in January 2012, and the defendant was concerned that the arrested man would talk about the business. He attempted to hire a hit man to have the associate murdered. It turned out that the hit man was an undercover agent who faked the killing, staged photos and received payment from the defendant. The defendant then allegedly plotted additional murders.
When a Maryland resident is charged with serious felony crimes, an attorney could help the accused person develop a criminal defense and face the charges in court. The attorney may be able to review the charges against the person, evaluate the evidence for reasonability and accuracy and anticipate the strategies of the prosecution. An attorney could also review the methods that the prosecution used to obtain evidence, the arrest procedures and the booking steps to make sure the defendant’s rights were not violated.
Source: Baltimore Sun, “‘Silk Road’ owner tried to arrange witness murder, authorities in Maryland say”, Justin Fenton, October 02, 2013