One of the investigators who helped shutdown online drug marketplace Silk Road has pleaded guilty to diverting $800,000 worth of bitcoins from the site into his bank account.
Former US Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges, 33, who belonged to a Baltimore-based federal task force that investigated Silk Road, appeared in federal court in San Francisco and admitted to money laundering and obstruction of justice.
Another member of Bridge's unit, former US Drug Enforcement Administration agent Carl Force, has admitted to charges of extortion, money laundering and obstruction of justice.
Silk Road's creator Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison in May after a federal jury in Manhattan found him guilty of several charges, including distributing drugs through the Internet, but his attorney said the charges "remove any question about the corruption that pervaded the investigation of Silk Road."
The website was shut down in October 2013, but in the more than two years it operated prosecutors say it generated more than $214m in sales of drugs and other illicit goods using the virtual currency bitcoin, which kept the identities of those purchasing goods anonymous.
In court yesterday, Bridges admitted his theft made Ulbricht, who used the online alias 'Dread Pirate Roberts', believe that another individual was stealing from Silk Road and helped lead Ulbricht to try to hire someone to kill that person. Sentencing for Bridges was scheduled for December.