Silk Road accused Ross Ulbricht appears in court

Silk Road screenshot
Image caption The Silk Road was known as a place to buy and sell illegal drugs

The alleged mastermind behind the online illegal drugs marketplace Silk Road is too dangerous to be bailed, US prosecutors have said.

Ross Ulbricht, 29, was arrested this week and is charged with being the administrator of the site which has now been shut down.

He is also accused of trying to arrange the killing of one of the site's users.

"We deny all charges and that is the end of the discussion at this point," Mr Ulbricht's lawyer said.

Mr Ulbricht appeared in a San Francisco court on Friday wearing a green T-shirt under red jail clothes and had his ankles shackled.

A request from his legal team for his bail hearing to be pushed back was granted - it will now take place on 9 October.

Flee concern

Federal magistrate Joseph Spero asked Mr Ulbricht's lawyer Brandon LeBlanc whether seeing the criminal indictment that included a murder-for-hire charge had "changed his calculus" on whether he thought Mr Ulbricht would be granted bail.

As part of its criminal complaint, the FBI alleged that Mr Ulbricht had sought to pay a Silk Road user to kill another user who had threatened to expose details of the site's users.

Prosecutors opposed the delay, arguing that Mr Ulbricht represented a danger to the community, and that there was a high likelihood that he may attempt to flee.

The Silk Road was a well-known destination on Tor, a so-called "dark web" service that anonymises users, making it much more difficult for authorities to track locations.

The site sold a range of items, but was most famous for offering a host of illegal drugs, paid for using virtual currency Bitcoin.

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