Updated An Australian faces life behind bars in the USA after entering a guilty plea for his role in Ross Ulbricht's Silk Road operation.
Peter Phillip Nash, who went by the tag “Samesamebutdifferent” on the online drug bazaar, put his hands up to narcotics and money laundering charges.
Nash was arrested in the Australian city of Brisbane in December 2013 and extradited to the USA in November 2014. In his indictment, US authorities alleged he was paid between $US50,000 and $US75,000 a year to act as primary moderator for Silk Road. However, Reuters reports that Nash told the court he only earned $US30,000.
Nash's identity became known when the US Justice Department named him in the charges against Ulbricht. He was previously a behavioural scientist in prisons.
Other handles used by Nash included Batman73, Symmetry or Anonymousasshit, and he spent ten months as moderator of the site, according to the court papers.
According to Reuters, Nash said he never knew the identify of Dread Pirate Roberts.
Another administrator of Silk Road, Gary Davis, awaits the commencement of extradition hearings in Ireland. Nash will be sentenced on May 26. US federal sentences for drug crimes specify 20 years to life for trafficking a kilogram of heroin and ten years to life for 5kg of Cocaine. Nash's indictment mentions "hundreds" of kilograms of drugs. ®
Correction: Gary Davis has contacted us to advise that extradition proceedings have not yet commenced. ®