One of the reasons that Silk Road was so popular and dangerous was because it enabled people who would have otherwise never dealt drugs to become Scarface-like kingpins. That's the tale of Michael Duch, an IT consultant who has wound up being sentenced to two and a half years in prison for dealing heroin. Duch agreed to testify against the site's founder, Russ "Dread Pirate Roberts" Ulbricht in exchange for a lower sentence, and told the court how easy it was to make anything up to $70,000 a month from home.
"I saw the relative ease that came with it," Duch told the court earlier this year (as reported by Wired), adding that "it seemed like something I could get away with." The New York native was, at the time, battling his own addiction to heroin, but built up a lucrative business after buying a $6,000 brick of the stuff from a dealer in New Jersey. He would then parcel up the drugs into small quantities and ship them all over the country, at a hugely-inflated price. By making a deal with prosecutors, Duch has managed to avoid a possible two-decade sentence behind bars -- and he'll also receive credit for the 21 months that he's already spent in custody.