American Kingpin

Author: Nick Bilton

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698405730

Category: True Crime

Page: 304

View: 1726


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER. The unbelievable true story of the man who built a billion-dollar online drug empire from his bedroom—and almost got away with it In 2011, a twenty-six-year-old libertarian programmer named Ross Ulbricht launched the ultimate free market: the Silk Road, a clandestine Web site hosted on the Dark Web where anyone could trade anything—drugs, hacking software, forged passports, counterfeit cash, poisons—free of the government’s watchful eye. It wasn’t long before the media got wind of the new Web site where anyone—not just teenagers and weed dealers but terrorists and black hat hackers—could buy and sell contraband detection-free. Spurred by a public outcry, the federal government launched an epic two-year manhunt for the site’s elusive proprietor, with no leads, no witnesses, and no clear jurisdiction. All the investigators knew was that whoever was running the site called himself the Dread Pirate Roberts. The Silk Road quickly ballooned into $1.2 billion enterprise, and Ross embraced his new role as kingpin. He enlisted a loyal crew of allies in high and low places, all as addicted to the danger and thrill of running an illegal marketplace as their customers were to the heroin they sold. Through his network he got wind of the target on his back and took drastic steps to protect himself—including ordering a hit on a former employee. As Ross made plans to disappear forever, the Feds raced against the clock to catch a man they weren’t sure even existed, searching for a needle in the haystack of the global Internet. Drawing on exclusive access to key players and two billion digital words and images Ross left behind, Vanity Fair correspondent and New York Times bestselling author Nick Bilton offers a tale filled with twists and turns, lucky breaks and unbelievable close calls. It’s a story of the boy next door’s ambition gone criminal, spurred on by the clash between the new world of libertarian-leaning, anonymous, decentralized Web advocates and the old world of government control, order, and the rule of law. Filled with unforgettable characters and capped by an astonishing climax, American Kingpin might be dismissed as too outrageous for fiction. But it’s all too real.

American Kingpin

Author: Nick Bilton

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 0753548003

Category: True Crime

Page: 352

View: 1687


A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The unbelievable true story of the man who built a billion-dollar online drug empire from his bedroom – and almost got away with it. In 2011, a twenty-six-year-old programmer named Ross Ulbricht launched the ultimate free market: the Silk Road, a clandestine Web site hosted on the Dark Web where anyone could trade anything – drugs, hacking software, forged passports, counterfeit cash, poisons – free of the government’s watchful eye. While the federal government were undertaking an epic two-year manhunt for the site’s elusive proprietor, the Silk Road quickly ballooned into a $1.2 billion enterprise. Ross embraced his new role as kingpin, taking drastic steps to protect himself – including ordering a hit on a former employee. As Ross made plans to disappear forever, the Feds raced against the clock to catch a man they weren’t sure even existed, searching for a needle in the haystack of the global Internet. Drawing on exclusive access to key players and two billion digital words and images Ross left behind, New York Times bestselling author Nick Bilton offers a tale filled with twists and turns, lucky breaks and unbelievable close calls. It’s a story of the boy next door’s ambition gone criminal, spurred on by the clash between the new world of libertarian-leaning, anonymous, decentralised Web advocates and the old world of government control, order and the rule of law.

Summary, Analysis, and Review of Nick Bilton's American Kingpin

Author: Start Publishing Notes

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781635967081

Category: Study Aids

Page: 30

View: 6704


PLEASE NOTE: This is a key takeaways and analysis of the book and NOT the original book. Start Publishing Notes' Summary, Analysis, and Review of Nick Bilton's American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road includes a summary of the book, review, analysis & key takeaways, and detailed "About the Author" section. PREVIEW: American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road by Nick Bilton tells the story of Ross Ulbricht, the founder of an illegal website that helped people buy and sell illicit goods anonymously. The author traces how Ross transformed his nascent idea for an "eBay for drugs" on the Dark Web into a multimillion dollar business, as well as the team of crafty feds who brought him down-and ultimately put him behind bars for life. Ross was a 24-year-old graduate student at Penn State when he met his girlfriend, Julia. He was politically active on campus to the point where his libertarianism distracted him from his studies, which led to a dismissal from his PhD program in 2010. Julia quit school and followed him to Austin, Texas, where his family lived. After a handful of failed business ventures, Ross began working long hours to develop an idea he'd been toying with for some time: an online marketplace where people could buy and sell anything from drugs to guns without fearing for their safety or privacy. The recent invention of Bitcoin had made his pipe dream realistic, and he was so excited that he worked long hours teaching himself the code he needed to build the site. By 2011, it was ready. Using an alias, Ross left a few messages advertising its existence on drug-related forums. That's all it took to launch his website, the Silk Road.

Summary & Analysis of American Kingpin

Author: Fastreads

Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

ISBN: 9781976528682

Category:

Page: 42

View: 5565


In "American Kingpin" Nick Bilton follows Ross Ulbricht, the creator of a clandestine website on the dark web selling every manner of contraband, and the law enforcement agents who brought him to book. With surprising ease, Bilton weaves together coincidences, near-misses, and lucky breaks that are almost too bizarre to be true. This FastReads Summary & Analysis offers supplementary material to "American Kingpin" to help you distill the key takeaways, review the book's content, and further understand the writing style and overall themes from an editorial perspective. Whether you'd like to deepen your understanding, refresh your memory, or simply decide whether or not this book is for you, FastReads Summary & Analysis is here to help. Absorb everything you need to know in under 20 minutes! What does this FastReads Summary & Analysis Include? An executive summary of the original book Editorial Review Key themes & analysis Brief chapter by chapter summaries A short bio of the the authors Original Book Summary Overview Nick Bilton's American Kingpin recounts the incredible Silk Road saga in which a former boy scout metamorphosed into an anti-government drug baron who evaded top government agents for two years. Bilton pieces the events that led to Ross Ulbricht's eventual capture in painstaking and candid detail. What emerges is a true, fast-moving story that engrosses the reader to the end. BEFORE YOU BUY: The purpose of this FastReads Summary & Analysis is to help you decide if it's worth the time, money and effort reading the original book (if you haven't already). FastReads has pulled out the essence-but only to help you ascertain the value of the book for yourself. This analysis is meant as a supplement to, and not a replacement for, "American Kingpin" PLEASE NOTE: This is a summary, analysis and review of the book and not the original book.

Dark Commerce

Author: Louise I. Shelley

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691184291

Category: Political Science

Page: 376

View: 8995


A comprehensive look at the world of illicit trade Though mankind has traded tangible goods for millennia, recent technology has changed the fundamentals of trade, in both legitimate and illegal economies. In the past three decades, the most advanced forms of illicit trade have broken with all historical precedents and, as Dark Commerce shows, now operate as if on steroids, tied to computers and social media. In this new world of illicit commerce, which benefits states and diverse participants, trade is impersonal and anonymized, and vast profits are made in short periods with limited accountability to sellers, intermediaries, and purchasers. Louise Shelley examines how new technology, communications, and globalization fuel the exponential growth of dangerous forms of illegal trade—the markets for narcotics and child pornography online, the escalation of sex trafficking through web advertisements, and the sale of endangered species for which revenues total in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The illicit economy exacerbates many of the world’s destabilizing phenomena: the perpetuation of conflicts, the proliferation of arms and weapons of mass destruction, and environmental degradation and extinction. Shelley explores illicit trade in tangible goods—drugs, human beings, arms, wildlife and timber, fish, antiquities, and ubiquitous counterfeits—and contrasts this with the damaging trade in cyberspace, where intangible commodities cost consumers and organizations billions as they lose identities, bank accounts, access to computer data, and intellectual property. Demonstrating that illicit trade is a business the global community cannot afford to ignore and must work together to address, Dark Commerce considers diverse ways of responding to this increasing challenge.

American Colonisation and the City Beautiful

Author: Ian Morley

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 0429627858

Category: Architecture

Page: 256

View: 8867


American Colonisation and the City Beautiful explores the history of city planning and the evolution of the built environment in the Philippines between 1916 and 1935. In so doing, it highlights the activities of the Bureau of Public Works’ Division of Architecture as part of Philippine national development and decolonisation. Morley provides new archival materials which deliver significant insight into the dynamics associated with both governance and city planning during the American colonial era in the Philippines, with links between prominent American university educators and Filipino architecture students. The book discusses the two cities of Tayabas and Iloilo which highlight the significant role in the urban design of places beyond the typical historiographical focus of Manila and Baguio. These examples will aid in further understanding the appearance and meaning of Philippine cities during an important era in the nation’s history. Including numerous black and white images, this book is essential for academics, researchers and students of city and urban planning, the history and development of Southeast Asia and those interested in colonial relations.

Jackpot

Author: Jason Ryan

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 0762767995

Category: True Crime

Page: 320

View: 2123


In the late 1970s and early '80s, a cadre of freewheeling, Southern pot smugglers lived at the crossroads of Miami Vice and a Jimmy Buffett song. These irrepressible adventurers unloaded nearly a billion dollars worth of marijuana and hashish through the eastern seaboard’s marshes. Then came their undoing: Operation Jackpot, one of the largest drug investigations ever and an opening volley in Ronald Reagan’s War on Drugs. In Jackpot, author Jason Ryan takes us back to the heady days before drug smuggling was synonymous with deadly gunplay. During this golden age of marijuana trafficking, the country’s most prominent kingpins were a group of wayward and fun-loving Southern gentlemen who forsook college educations to sail drug-laden luxury sailboats across the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, and the Caribbean. Les Riley, Barry Foy, and their comrades eschewed violence as much as they loved pleasure, and it was greed, lust, and disaster at sea that ultimately caught up with them, along with the law. In a cat-and-mouse game played out in exotic locations across the globe, the smugglers sailed through hurricanes, broke out of jail and survived encounters with armed militants in Colombia, Grenada and Lebanon. Based on years of research and interviews with imprisoned and recently released smugglers and the law enforcement agents who tracked them down, Jackpot is sure to become a classic story from America's controversial Drug Wars. “The adventures, the long-gone economy, and the sting that ultimately brought them down and changed US drug policy are meticulously documented and lucidly spun…. Part New Yorker feature-part Jimmy Buffet song. . . . The result is adventuresome, lavish, informative fun.” —GQ “[A] rollicking story, Ryan manages to pack in one amusing tale after another.... Jackpot is a rip-roaring good read.” —Charleston City Paper “High times on the high seas: Investigative reporter Ryan recounts the glory days of dope smuggling and their terrible denouement.... A well-told tale of true crime that provides a few good arguments for why it should not be a crime at all.” —Kirkus Reviews “Reads like an international thriller. . . . chock-a-block with hilarious and hair-raising anecdotes of fast times.” —New York Journal of Books “[A] thoroughly researched account of Operation Jackpot, the drug investigation that ended the reign of South Carolina’s ‘gentlemen smugglers,’.... Ryan recreates the era with a vivid, sun-drenched intensity.” —Publishers Weekly

The War on Drugs in the Americas

Author: Christopher M. White

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317359208

Category: History

Page: 184

View: 6408


The War on Drugs in the Americas brings together the history of the War on Drugs in the US and Latin America to reveal how, since 1914, when the US first criminalized the non-medical use of narcotics, the trade and violence associated with drugs has developed throughout the hemisphere. This concise and accessible book provides an overview of the geographic, historical, economic, and social dimensions of the War on Drugs throughout the past century. Notable figures, popular drugs, competing theories, and significant historical events take center stage, as the story moves between macro analysis and micro details. Aside from infamous cartel leaders like Colombia’s Pablo Escobar and Mexico’s El Chapo Guzman, the reader learns about equally important but lesser-known Latin American and US traffickers. In addition to counter-narcotics giants, readers learn about Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), DEA agents working to fight pharmaceutical companies and distributors, cutting-edge researchers and politicians that have pushed for and against the war. The War on Drugs in the Americas is essential reading for students studying Latin American History, International Studies, and Politics through its clear and objective narrative of the origins, impact, and debates behind the War on Drugs in the US and Latin America.

Underworld

Author: Roman Martín

Publisher: WildBlue Press

ISBN: 1948239892

Category: True Crime

Page: 546

View: 3053


“Accurately describes ‘the Life,’ and the pros and cons of becoming a mobster . . . in a very unique manner that will no doubt have you in stitches.” —Frank Cullotta, coauthor of Cullotta: The Life of a Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster, and Government Witness For the first time in history, there is now an easy-to-follow self-help guide on how to join and rise in the most exclusive men’s club in the world—the Italian-American Mafia (aka La Cosa Nostra). Learn everything from loansharking to leg-breaking to corpse disposal, all without leaving the comfort of your mobile home or prison cell. Based on interviews with dozens of former high-ranking Mafiosi and many other hardcore mobsters from across the globe, true-crime auteur Roman Martín has risked life and limb to bring you this spellbinding tour de force. Whether you’re a couch-surfing gangster-wannabe or simply someone who’s watched The Godfather too many times, this breathtaking exposé of “the Honored Society” offers something for everyone. Pushing the bounds of the First Amendment to their breaking point, Don Martín also reveals the FBI’s most closely guarded secrets when it comes to “wiseguys” and “goodfellas.” Wanna know the one surefire way to find out who in your crew is an undercover cop or fed? Or the best way to deal with those annoying witnesses? Then look no further, friends, for all your questions about the outlaw lifestyle shall be answered in Underworld. “I laughed so hard at times that my jaws ached!” —Dennis N. Griffin, award-winning true-crime author of The Rise and Fall of a “Casino” Mobster: The Tony Spilotro Story

Fentanyl, Inc.

Author: Ben Westhoff

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press

ISBN: 080214795X

Category: Social Science

Page: 341

View: 3716


A deeply human story, Fentanyl, Inc. is the first deep-dive investigation of a hazardous and illicit industry that has created a worldwide epidemic, ravaging communities and overwhelming and confounding government agencies that are challenged to combat it. “A whole new crop of chemicals is radically changing the recreational drug landscape,” writes Ben Westhoff. “These are known as Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) and they include replacements for known drugs like heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, and marijuana. They are synthetic, made in a laboratory, and are much more potent than traditional drugs”—and all-too-often tragically lethal. Drugs like fentanyl, K2, and Spice—and those with arcane acronyms like 25i-NBOMe— were all originally conceived in legitimate laboratories for proper scientific and medicinal purposes. Their formulas were then hijacked and manufactured by rogue chemists, largely in China, who change their molecular structures to stay ahead of the law, making the drugs’ effects impossible to predict. Westhoff has infiltrated this shadowy world. He tracks down the little-known scientists who invented these drugs and inadvertently killed thousands, as well as a mysterious drug baron who turned the law upside down in his home country of New Zealand. Westhoff visits the shady factories in China from which these drugs emanate, providing startling and original reporting on how China’s vast chemical industry operates, and how the Chinese government subsidizes it. Poignantly, he chronicles the lives of addicted users and dealers, families of victims, law enforcement officers, and underground drug awareness organizers in the U.S. and Europe. Together they represent the shocking and riveting full anatomy of a calamity we are just beginning to understand. From its depths, as Westhoff relates, are emerging new strategies that may provide essential long-term solutions to the drug crisis that has affected so many.