EXCLUSIVE: Free Stater Alleged to be Silk Road Admin, “Inigo”

The Silk Road

The Silk Road

Free State Project participant Andrew Michael Jones of Norfolk, Virginia was arrested in December of 2013 along with others accused of being the operators of the Silk Road underground marketplace. Andrew is alleged to be the longtime site administrator, “Inigo”. Thus far, almost all of the news headlines about the Silk Road arrests have gone to Ross Ulbricht, who is accused of being the infamous site’s creator and head admin, “Dread Pirate Roberts”. Andrew is accused of similar allegations as Ross, “conspiracy to commit money laundering, narcotics trafficking, and hacking” and is facing spending the rest of his life in federal prison.

While Ross Ulbricht was not offered bail, Andrew was able to get out on $1,000,000 bail thanks to his parents, who did not have anything close to that amount of money, so they put up their house and retirement incomes to secure a bond. His bail conditions include 24/7 house arrest at his parents’ house and being strictly forbidden from using any internet capable device. His girlfriend, Birdie, (who is also a Free State Project participant) is the one who reached out to me and she and Andrew’s family have set up a website to accept contributions to his legal fund, as they can use all the help they can get.

birdie_and_drew

Birdie and Andrew

Andrew’s mother, Judy Jones, 68, told me this about him, “He’s very bright, kind, generous and has always been an idealist. When he first told me about bitcoins, he helped me envision a world where the central banks are no longer in charge of money. If it were instead a peer-based monetary system, so much good can come from that. I have hope for a better world thanks to his generation (the Millennials).”

Unlike Ross’ case, Andrew does not face the “kingpin” charge. Plus, he has not been libeled with allegations of murder for hire, as Ross has. Hopefully, that will help with this fundraising ability. He has retained the services of attorney Samuel M. Braverman and the bill will likely be very expensive.

As have many activists looking at moving to New Hampshire, Andrew and Birdie made the pilgrimage to Keene in December of 2012 and came to visit Social Sunday. I met both of them there and truly hope he can get through this difficult time with the minimum damage possible. If Andrew did not administer the Silk Road, then he’s a man wrongfully accused, but if he did, he’s a hero. The Silk Road was (and is) the most important development to happen to the black market in our lifetimes. (more…)

Rich’s Jail Blog: Reducing the Incidence and Impact of Heroin Abuse

2013_04_20_freerichUsually, when people discuss heroin abuse, their solutions revolve around reducing freedom and ramping up hysterical rhetoric. The solutions offered here will pursue the same goals but by increasing freedom and honesty.

One trust-destroying feature of modern life for kids is “zero tolerance” policies in schools which expels students for bringing Asprin or Midol to school. This demonstrates to kids at a young age that their elders have hysterical, irrational reactions to all “drugs,” and that their words and actions are to be ridiculed, not respected. True messages about the dangers of certain drugs, like heroin, get lost in the nonsense, knee-jerk reactions.

Another example of this problem is treating marijuana like it is a dangerous drug similar to alcohol and heroin. When kids try weed and realize that hysterical foolish adults have been hyping it’s dangers, they naturally wonder what else they have been lied to about. They may try the truly dangerous drugs thinking that they, too, have been over-hyped.

Eliminating these policies, and not “crying wolf” will do much to preserve adults credibility for really important messages. It will not, however, eliminate the heroin problem. Utopia is not an option. Thus, other steps which will reduce morbidity and mortality heroin use, are in order.

First, all regulations on the sale of sterile hypodermic needles should be repealed. Needles should be freely and easily accessible to drug users, in order to reduce the spread off deadly diseases like Hepatitis-C and AIDS, clean needles are as important as condoms, and for the same reasons reasons.

Secondly, the laws forbidding the sale of heroin to addicts should be repealed (more…)

Cop Blocking in Manchester with Supportive Locals

I encountered and filmed an arrest (purportedly for a license issue) in Manchester’s West Side, at the intersection of Granite and Main. Bystanders were initially hostile to our filming, but when we explained about Cop Block and that we were just trying to hold police accountable and make sure they didn’t perpetrate any abuse, they became very supportive. Score one for the good guys.

PC Hearing Advances Fountain Assault Case

A probable cause hearing was held yesterday in Keene district court in the case of State v James M. Phillips. Phillips stands accused of causing the hospitalization of Matthew “Yankee” Oldershaw after allegedly shoving or tackling him into the jagged granite which comprises the fountain in Central Square. During the hearing, sole witness Benjamin Nugent presented verbal accounts of his interactions with witnesses and analysis of video from the scene, including the only footage which partially captures the assault, as filmed by the currently incarcerated Free Keene blogger Rich Paul. Information presented which would normally be discounted as hearsay was admissible as Nugent recalled the statements of others collected over the course of his investigation into the incident. A public defender cross examined Nugent after direct examination from KPD prosecutor Jean Kilham.

A copy of the paperwork from the case reveals the bail conditions attached to the single charge of 2nd 2014_08_06_courtnugentdegree assault from the June 03 incident. An arrest warrant issued on July 11 was followed with instructions to not be present in Central Square, to have no contact with Matthew Oldershaw, and to refrain from the use of alcohol. A PR bail of $1000 was set on the day of the arrest.

Following yesterday’s hearing, judge Edward Burke found the state’s evidence sufficient to constitute probable cause for advancing the felony case to the superior court, where it will likely be heard before judge John Kissinger. Video from the hearing is available at Fr33manTVraw. Additional written coverage from the court by Martha Shanahan was published today in the Keene Sentinel.