Following the investigation into the activities of two former Secret Service agents Shaun Bridges and Carl Force with regard to their alleged activities when employed by law enforcement agencies to investigate the ring of illicit activities orchestrated by now defunct anonymous online marketplace Silk Road, Mr. Force, former undercover agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration has pleaded guilty on charges of stealing more than $700,000 in digital currency.
Over one and a half years has passed since the US government seized Silk Road’s website and arrested its founder, Ross Ulbricht, who has recently been sentenced to life in a US penitentiary facility for operating the anonymous marketplace
Carl M Force, dressed in the orange prison uniform of the San Francisco jail and shackled at the ankles, pleaded guilty to extortion, money laundering and obstruction of justice in federal court, and is likely to be handed down a maximum term of 20 years in prison when sentenced in October.
“He had a stellar 15-year career with the DEA except for this one blip,” Force’s attorney, Ivan Bates, said outside court according to a report today by the Guardian.
Inside court, Mr Bates told US District Judge Richard Seeborg that Mr. Force suffered from anxiety and depression, however these are likely not to diminish responsibility. While with the DEA, Mr. Force was tasked with masquerading as a drug dealer who had connections to hit men, infiltrating Silk Road and communicating with the online drug bazaar’s founder, Ross Ulbricht.
Serving in his undercover role as “Nob”, Mr. Force told Mr. Ulbricht that he had inside information about the federal investigation of Silk Road and began selling him tidbits about the probe, authorities said. Mr. Force also created another persona, “French Maid”, who purported to have inside information on the probe that he sold to Mr. Ulbricht.
In addition, Mr. Force also invested in a company that brokered the digital currency bitcoin and served as the firm’s chief compliance officer while still with the DEA. During his time with the company, Mr. Force used his position to seize $300,000 from a customer and transfer it to his private account according to prosecuting authorities.
The US justice system takes an extremely dim view toward law enforcement officials which abuse their authority to commit crimes, therefore Mssrs Bridges and Force are looking at a potentially long stretch indeed.