Duch never interacted with Ulbricht, who went by the Dread Pirate Roberts on the site. His testimony in February was used by prosecutors to demonstrate that Silk Road created additional dealers and users. Duch, whose online moniker was “deezletime,” said he started selling drugs to support his own dope habit, which at its peak was costing him $200 to $300 per day.
He will receive credit for the 21 months he has already spent in prison, meaning that he could be released within months.
At the sentencing today, Duch’s lawyer asked for him to be released immediately, saying that the drug addiction that led to his crimes is now behind him. US District Judge Katherine Forrest said that she would give him a break on his sentence but was not willing to release him immediately.
The two-and-a-half year sentence is half of the five-year mandatory minimum that Duch would have faced if he had not cooperated with the government. He faced a maximum of 40 years in prison.
Duch apologized at the sentencing, saying that his arrest was like “being slapped across the face” and led him to an “extremely painful, but necessary” path.
In January, Duch took the witness stand at Ulbricht’s trial, which was overseen by Forrest, to tell the jury about how he used Silk Road. He said he never would have been a street dealer.
“I saw the relative ease that came with [Silk Road],” he said then. “There was a personal level of safety, as well as anonymity.”
Before he started dealing, Duch was an IT consultant, making about $75,000 annually. At the peak of his Silk Road heroin business, he was earning $60,000 to $70,000 per month.
Duch’s method for getting his supply was simple. He bought heroin in bulk from the same street dealers he patronized as a user, then sold them on Silk Road at double the price or more. His ads promised “East Coast Style Heroin Stamps,” with fast shipping as a selling point.
Ulbricht was convicted in February and sentenced to life in prison in May.
Source: ars technica