Who is Ross Ulbricht, the prison inmate who could be key to Trump’s libertarian support

Former President Donald Trump received a frosty reception at this weekend’s Libertarian Party’s national convention, but one of his few applause lines was for promising to commute a sentence for a man named Ross Ulbricht.

But who is Ulbricht?

Ulbricht, 40, from Austin, Texas, is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole in Tucson, Arizona, after he was convicted in 2015 for creating, owning, and operating the darknet market website Silk Road from 2011 to 2013.

Inspired by libertarian economic theory, Ulbricht set up Silk Road under the pseudonym “Dread Pirate Roberts,” writing on his LinkedIn profile that the website would be “an economic simulation to give people a first-hand experience of what it would be like to live in a world without the systemic use of force.” But
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