This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A Utah man whose death was faked by federal agents in their pursuit of the owner of the illicit Silk Road website has escaped a prison term on his guilty plea to a drug charge.
Curtis Clark Green of Spanish Fork was sentenced recently to time served, or the two days he spent in jail after his arrest that occurred when he received a package of cocaine in the mail that came from a deal made through Silk Road that was used by sellers and buyers of illegal drugs.
One of Green's attorneys, Mary Corporon of Salt Lake City, said the light sentence came about because of Green's cooperation with authorities, not only about the operation of Silk Road but also with the related investigation of two federal agents who later pleaded guilty to stealing from Silk Road.
"Because of the groundwork we laid for his cooperation, and I think the extraordinary nature of his cooperation, he ended up with the sentence," Corporon said.
The owner and operator of Silk Road, Ross William Ulbricht, a former Eagle Scout from Texas who was known online as Dread Pirate Roberts, is serving a life prison sentence for his conviction on seven charges related to conspiracy, narcotics trafficking and money laundering.
Silk Road allowed people to make sales and purchases using bitcoins, a virtual currency that makes it difficult to trace transactions.
Green, who used the aliases of "Flush" and "chronic pain," was hired in November of 2012 by Ulbricht as an administrator for Silk Road and was responsible for responding to questions and complaints from users.
He was arrested in January of 2013 after he acted as a middleman involving a sale by an undercover agent posing as a cocaine smuggler. Green agreed to have a package of cocaine sent to him and he was arrested after it was delivered to his house by an undercover U.S. Postal Service inspector.
Shortly after Green's arrest, Ulbricht arranged a deal to have Green killed and wired $40,000 as partial payment for the hit. Agents staged photos of Green being tortured and killed and sent them to Ulbricht, who replied he was "a little disturbed but I'm ok … I'm new to this kind of thing is all."
Green then was kept out of sight until Ulbricht was arrested by federal agents on Oct. 1, 2013, at a library in San Francisco.
Green pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to possess and distribute an illegal drug and was sentenced last month by U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake in Baltimore. He is under federal supervision for four years.
Two federal agents pleaded guilty to charges involving their theft of hundreds of thousands of bitcoins from Silk Road when they were part of the investigation. They were both given prison terms.