A former U.S. Secret Service agent pleaded guilty to money laundering and theft of bitcoin worth thousands of dollars.
Thirty-five-year-old Shaun W. Bridges of Laurel pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday to one count of money laundering. Bridges was a U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in the Baltimore Field Office for six years. He was a member of the Baltimore Silk Road Task Force from 2012 to 2014, according to court documents.
The task force was investigating illegal activities on Silk Road, a dark web marketplace, which is highly known for the illegal sales of illicit goods. Bridges was responsible for conducting forensic computer investigations, in an effort to locate and identify specific targets, leading to a prosecution. One of the main targets was the operator of Silk Road from California, Ross Ulbricht, aka “Dread Pirate Roberts,” according to court records.
Bridges was charged with one count of obstruction of justice and one count of money laundering for stealing more than $800,000 in bitcoin. He obtained the digital currency while working on the Silk Road Task Force. In 2015, Bridges pleaded guilty and sentenced to 71 months in prison for those charges, according to court documents.
Before his prison sentence was to begin, Bridges was arrested on new charges for an unrelated theft. Bridges allegedly stole more than 1,600 bitcoin, estimated over $359,000 from a U.S. government digital wallet, which he accessed through a private key. Bridges allegedly deposited the bitcoin in digital wallets he had access to.