DEA, Secret Service agents charged with theft, fraud in Silk Road case

Sensing the serious dearth of headlines involving high-profile fuck ups by federal agents lately, a former United States Secret Service agent and a former DEA agent involved with an investigation into the black market web site Silk Road, were expected to be arrested Monday on charges of stealing money while working undercover.

Shaun Bridges, of the USSS, is being charged with wire fraud and money laundering, while Carl Mark Force IV, of the DEA, is being brought up on those same charges in addition to theft of government property. Most damningly, Force is also accused of acting as a mole to the site’s creator, allegedly selling information regarding the very task force he was taking part in.

In his capacity as an undercover agent in the investigation into Silk Road, once called “the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the internet,” Force also allegedly obtained a “sizable amount of Bitcoin,” and instead of turning them over to the government, “deposited them into his own personal account.”

Before the site was shut down, Silk Road generated more the $213 million in revenue, and several thousand drug dealers used the site to move hundreds of kilos of illegal drugs and other illicit goods. The website’s founder, Ross W. Ulbricht, was convicted in February on multiple counts, including distributing narcotics on the Internet and engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, both of which carry potential life sentences.

It’s unclear whether the charges against Bridges and Force will complicate those against Ulbricht, but one thing’s for sure: House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz is gonna be pissed.

[NYT | Wired]