Ulbricht was arrested by undercover agents in a San Francisco library in 2013 where they found him logged into a Silk Road master admin account on his laptop as he communicated online with another undercover agent Ulbricht believed was a friend.
He was convicted on seven felony charges in February, including money laundering and narcotics trafficking conspiracies, as well as a charge of "engagement in a continuing criminal enterprise," which is often known as the "kingpin charge" reserved for organized crime bosses.
Ulbricht's sentence of life in prison is the maximum penalty, and was even harsher than what the prosecution asked for. He was also ordered to pay $183 million to the government, which prosecutors say is what all the drug and fake ID sales on Silk Road added up to.
Prosecutors estimated that more than one million drug deals were made on Silk Road, which was a Dark Web site that was basically eBay for drugs, as well as fake IDs, passports and other illegal items.
Authorities say Ulbricht also paid for the murders of several of Silk Road's enemies, though none were actually carried out, and one hit man was actually an undercover agent who took fake photos of a guy smeared with soup to make it look like he'd murdered Ulbricht's target (that incident is part of Wired's great two-part story on the entire saga).