back to article Silk Road coder turned dealer turned informant gets five years

A programmer turned drug dealer turned government informant has been sentenced to five years in prison after being caught up in the Silk Road shutdown. Steven Sadler, 40, was arrested at his home in Bellevue, Washington on July 31, 2013 by members of the Department of Homeland Security. Police found over a kilogram of cocaine …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We will not allow internet connectivity to be blatantly misused to harm public safety."

    Heck no, that's what the "War on Drugs" is for.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't get high

    on your own supply.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Don't get high

      Great reference! Haven't watched Scarface in many years, maybe it's time to look it up again.

  3. Little Mouse

    5 years?

    He got off lightly.

    1. Keef

      Re: 5 years?

      I'm no expert on American (or any other type of) law, but the Yanks do seem to like plea bargains and offer very large reductions in sentences as a reward to the offender.

      I'm not sure if I think it is a good thing or not, it's complex, but on balance I think it's bad.

      If law enforcers are competent there should be no need for a large reduction in time served in exchange for information.

      Pleading guilty at an early stage and assisting the authorities is recognised in the UK as a good way to get some time off your sentence which seems sensible, saves time and money and offers a small reward to the offender.

      The US plea bargain system seems a bit over the top to me, I think too much leniency is given for ratting out the, er, other rats.

      1. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: 5 years?

        Pleading guilty at an early stage and assisting the authorities is recognised in the UK as a good way to get some time off your sentence

        Pleading guilty early doesn't mean what people think it means.

        You can change your plea from not guilty to guilty on the first day in court and still receive the same 1/3rd off your punishment as if you handed yourself into the police station the morning after your offence was committed. Waiting to see if the CPS, witnesses, and police turn up before amending your plea seems unreasonable to me.

      2. MonkeyCee

        Re: 5 years?

        "I'm no expert on American (or any other type of) law, but the Yanks do seem to like plea bargains and offer very large reductions in sentences as a reward to the offender."

        It's about 95%. In other words, 19 of 20 criminal cases are decided by the prosecutor, not a court.

        It's not a reward to an offender, it's almost always used as a threat. For example, take a plea, lessor charge and 5 years, or if you go to court we'll push for all charges and 30 years. It's supposed to make the system more efficient, but in practice it punishes you for having poor/cheap legal advice.

        Oh, and what is in the actual written plea matters, not what you're promised.

        As always when you are in trouble with the law, get a lawyer. If you're not an American, and you get busted in the US, get hold of your consulate because you will get fucked in any plea deal.

        Smart criminals avoid committing any crimes in or around the US, since they are one of the few people who act as the world police.

      3. J__M__M

        Re: 5 years?

        Not a good thing. It's called prosecutorial overreach, and it's rampant and completely out of control. As long as there's no accountability for misconduct and general weaselness clear through outright breaking the law, it will only get worse. Here's the deal, either take it or we'll ruin your life plus maybe a few more so you might as well take it. Ruin your life can be anything from spending years in jail up to and through your trail, spending every cent you and your family and friends can come up with on your defense, being convicted, whatever. Hell, they'll go after your friends and family... and they don't even need to hide it. Who's gonna hold them accountable? Another prosecutor? A judge (ex prosecutor)? Yeah right.

        If the prosecutor doesn't like you at just about any level, you're completely and totally fuct.

  4. Mark 85 Silver badge

    The guy was an idiot...

    For his $1 million, he could have bought a strip club and still had piles of cash left over. And then there's using his girlfriend as courier.... I've come to the conclusion that most crooks are idiots and he helps to prove it. They should add time to this guy just because....

    1. Degenerate Scumbag

      Re: The guy was an idiot...

      The ones that get caught are idiots. The smart ones cover their tracks, so you're never going to hear about them...

      1. Cliff

        Re: The guy was an idiot...

        A tiny percentage of criminals are 'CSI Cyber' - worthy, the vast majority are regular people doing stupid things out of necessity or laziness, neither being the ideal motivation. You don't just wake up one day deciding to be a criminal mastermind, there are usually other factors.

  5. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So he narked and still got 5 years in prison? There's a moral there somewhere...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > Ross Ulbricht, who has been charged and later found guilty of being in charge of the website under the pseudonym Dread Pirate Roberts.

    It's perhaps not the best pseudonym to be under while in charge of a website, but being sent to prison for that sounds a bit excessive.

  8. Nate Amsden

    I bet bellevue police were excited

    To have a criminal to go after. I lived there for 10 years, great place. Running joke was cops had nothing to do. Police response time at one point I read was under 2 minutes. I had some very amateur drug dealers live next to me in the luxury apts i was at while there. I didn't know until their supplier busted down their door to get after them for ripping him off. Police came and were stuck outside. I think my sister let them in the bldg.

    Major international prostitution ring ran(covered many states) from bellevue too for years that was busted 2 years ago (mostly feds).

    I miss bellevue. Though from a job standpoint too much amazon and microsoft influence. Moved to bay area almost 4 years ago.

  9. Graham Marsden

    "spread the poison of illegal drugs far and wide"

    As opposed to the poison of legal drugs such as nicotine and alcohol?

  10. Ru'

    " Police found over a kilogram of cocaine and heroin each," What, each police person found over a kilo? How many police people were there in total? Sounds like an easter egg hunt where everybody has to share their plunder out at the end so it's fair!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The worst thing about plea bargains... that it provides an especially powerful incentive to plead guilty for those who cannot pay for good representation, regardless of actual guilt.

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