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Ross Ulbricht and the Mystery of the Disappearing Silk Road Murder Charges

Ross Ulbricht was initially charged with solicitation of murder along with a bevy of other drug trafficking charges. A year later, after motions were filed by Ulbrict’s defense attorney Josh Dratel, a superseding indictment was filed, and the salacious murder charges were dropped.

Why have six of the most important accusations been left as yet uncharged?

“Maybe you don’t have that proof,” criminal defense attorney Jay Leiderman told the Daily Dot. “Maybe the proof isn’t as good as you thought it was.”

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Ulbricht, meanwhile, was guilty until proven innocent.

“The case comes in, it’s a big splash, it’s all over the news,” Leiderman explained. “Almost a year later, these big mean offensive counts get dropped, it’s not a front page story anymore. It’s somewhere in the recesses of the paper, its just not a big deal. At that point people already associate the case with murder-for-hire. No prosecutor would ever say that’s what they’re doing, but as a long term criminal defense attorney, this happens all the time.”

Ross Ulbricht

Silk Road was found on the dark net or deep web

“The whole point of having extra indictments is to put extra pressure on,” Leiderman explained, “and bring you to the table to force a resolution.”

While five of the murder indictments have been excluded from the charges in New York, where Ulbricht is scheduled to stand trial in January, the sixth remains in a Maryland indictment against Ulbricht, a document that hasn’t been touched for over a year. And there’s no reason for prosecutors to change the Maryland indictment at this point because it’s a useful tool.

“That’s typically the purpose of these things,” Leiderman told me.

Read More on The Daily Dot

Read more on the Free Ross Ulbricht site

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Edwin Mora
Edwin Mora

Jay Leiderman stands with his client, Edwin Mora during a court hearing. Edwin Mora is charged with being the lead defendant in a conspiracy to benefit the Mexican Mafia. Jay and Eddie have been fighting this case for two years and will keep fighting until a final victory. Mr. Mora faces over 300 years and 10 life sentences if he is convicted. Edwin Mora is charged with being the lead defendant in a conspiracy to benefit the Mexican Mafia. Jay and Eddie have been fighting this case for two years and will keep fighting until a victory. Mr. Mora faces over 300 years and 10 life sentences if he is convicted.

Jay Leiderman quoted in the Ventura County Star discussing the Edwin Mora case: Jay Leiderman has been the defense attorney for the lead defendant in the largest-ever prosecution in Ventura County, California.  The case is a consolidated prosecution of alleged members of local street gangs supposedly working together to commit extortion, assault and drug sales for the Mexican Mafia, the largest and most feared prison gang in the nation.  The case has lasted for two years and will hopefully go to jury trial in early 2015.  Jay and his associate Eric Lindgren beat this case down from over 30 life counts and about 900 years in prison for Mr. Mora to just over 300 years and 10 life counts – and we’re still going!  This case represents a prime example of governmental overreach and poor exercise of prosecutiorial discretion, and most of all – OVERCHARGING a case.

In one of the many interviews for that case, Jay said:
“Investigators like to wave around the word ‘gang.’ They use it to strike fear in the heart of the community. It tends to also involve a lot of puffery and allegations that maybe perhaps aren’t 100 percent solid,” Leiderman said in a Ventura County Star article about his aforementioned Mexican Mafia case.  

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It is fashionable always to cast aspersion upon those that defend persons accused of committing crimes. The viler the accused crime, the more vigorous defense the accused needs, yet, at the same time, the more vitriol the defense attorney will face. I cannot speak for my brethren in the legal community, I can only state that what follows is my own brand of patriotism; I defend those charged with crimes because it is both my duty as a lawyer and as an American. Each piece of resistance to the encroachment of overreaching governmental power is, in and of itself, a victory for freedom. Accordingly, please indulge me herein.

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The People cannot claim that they represent the world against the defendant
Jay busy at work, thinking of the next creative defense to win his next case. Between his two computer screens, phone and laptop, Jay employs a lot of technology to defend criminal cases. The full article was part of a two-part series in the prestigious Columbia Journalism Review.

Jay busy at work, thinking of the next creative defense to win his next case. Between his two computer screens, phone and laptop, Jay employs a lot of technology to defend criminal cases. The full article was part of a two-part series in the prestigious Columbia Journalism Review.

Cybercrime Attorney Jay Leiderman

‘Find the best defense attorney you can’ was the title of an article in the Columbia Journalism Review discussing the best lawyers to hire in a case involving cybercrime.  The author wrote: “”Hackers being prosecuted under the CFAA don’t just need digital experts; they need good defense against a law vague enough to encompass most anything.”  I was humbled yet delighted to be included in the small group of attorneys qualified and recommended to handle such complex and high-profile cases.

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Jay Leiderman Hacktivist Anonymous Lawyer Attorney Ventura Claifirnia Certified Criminal LAw Specialist Defense of crimes murder homicide computer medical marijuana
Jay Leiderman quoted

Jay Leiderman on Huff Post Live in the studio in New York discussing an unjust sentence passed down by an unjust system

Jay Leiderman quoted in the Atlantic magazine in the article that initially dubbed him the Hacktivist’s Advocate.

Jay Leiderman quoted: “We have an opportunity here to make the courts, as these cases wind their way up, understand privacy issues, emerging tech issues, against the backdrop of civil rights and through the prism of free information.”

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