Silk Road Founder Is A 'Political Prisoner,' Mother Lyn Ulbricht Says

In an interview with HuffPost Live Monday, the mother of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht called her son's life sentence "draconian."

"I really hope that this outrageous, draconian sentence is changed at appeal," Lyn Ulbricht told host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani. "A friend of mine wrote me and said we are all in peril because of this sentencing. This is such an overreach. We are not supposed to have political prisoners in this country."

Ross Ulbricht, 31, received a life sentence Friday after a federal jury found him guilty on charges that included conspiracy to commit drug trafficking, money laundering and computer hacking. His website Silk Road operated on the clandestine Dark Web and essentially served as a massive black market, allowing individuals to buy and sell everything from psychedelic drugs to handguns.

Judge Katherine B. Forrest called Ulbricht the "kingpin of a worldwide digital drug-trafficking enterprise." According to The New York Times, government officials claim that Silk Road contributed to the deaths of at least six people who purchased drugs on the site.

To some, like Editor-in-Chief Nick Gillespie, the case is emblematic of a continuing struggle between traditional law enforcement and new technology.

"If you buy drugs behind a school, it's one thing. If you buy them over the Internet, it becomes a horrifying national epidemic that needs to be treated," Gillespie told HuffPost Live Monday.

The case against Ulbricht sometimes went beyond drugs, though, as prosecutors tried to connect him to a murder plot. He was not formally charged with or convicted of ordering murders, however.

Lyn Ulbricht said she plans to continue fighting for her son. She is accepting donations via Bitcoin on the Twitter account @Free_Ross.