Secret Service Agent to Plead Guilty for Theft of Silk Road Bitcoin, Second Agent Held Without Bail


Left: former Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges; Right: former DEA agent Carl Force

A former Secret Service agent charged with stealing over $800,000 worth of bitcoin during an investigation will plead guilty to a number of charges, according to court documents filed Wednesday by federal prosecutors.

Shaun Bridges, a computer forensics specialist working for the Secret Service, was charged in connection with the theft after investigators claim he obtained credentials to the now-defunct Silk Road, an online free marketplace famous for facilitating the peaceful trade of narcotics and other contraband. Bridges was in a position to obtain the credentials because he was involved in the arrest of a Silk Road associate who managed the marketplace’s passwords.

After being charged earlier this month, Bridges resigned from his position with the Secret Service. Bridges is expected to plead guilty to money laundering and obstruction of justice.

Another agent involved in the theft, former Drug Enforcement Administration agent Carl Force, has also been charged with extortion of Ross Ulbricht, whom investigators believe to be the person behind the alias Dread Pirate Roberts, former operator of the Silk Road. Force worked undercover for the DEA and was tasked with communicating with Ulbricht.

Ulbricht was sentenced in February to life in prison after being convicted in an extremely contentious trial which has sparked protests and condemnation from around the world. It is not yet known whether the arrest of the agents will aid in any possible appeals Ulbricht may file.

Force faces a number of other charges including conflict of interest, money laundering, wire fraud, and theft of government property. Like Bridges, Force also resigned from his position shortly after being charged.

Force is currently behind bars after a judge denied bail, agreeing with prosecutors that Force is a flight risk.