The mastermind behind the largest online narcotics store in the world was sentenced to two life terms in prison and three other lesser sentences.
Ross Ulbricht was ordered to forfeit $184 million of the $187 million the website made before it was shut down in 2013.
It is estimated by the government that around $1.2 billion in illegal drug transactions took place on Silk Road.
"Silk Road was about creating demand and fulfilling demand," the judge said. "You don't fit the criminal profile" — noting his education as if that mattered — "but you are a criminal."
Ulbricht's defense team will seek an appeal noting that two DEA agents on the case have allegedly stolen bitcoin currency used to make payments on the site. Ulbricht's lawyer saw the life sentence "unreasonable, unjust, unfair."
Ulbricht was facing anywhere from 20 years to life in prison for the part he played in running Silk Road under the pseudonym "Dread Pirate Roberts."
In February he was convicted on all seven counts he was facing, including trafficking drugs on the internet, narcotics-trafficking conspiracy, running a continuing criminal enterprise, computer-hacking conspiracy, and money-laundering conspiracy.
Before he was sentenced Ulbricht told the court, "I'm not the man I was when I created Silk Road." He went on to say," I wish I could go back and convince myself to take a different path."