(AP) — A suburban Portland, Oregon, man who supplied methamphetamine that was sold on a now-shuttered black market website was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison. Richard Webster, 47, was arrested in 2013 and later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine via the Internet.
Authorities said he sold more than 30 pounds of meth to Jason Hagen in exchange for cash or bitcoin before Hagen sold the meth through the website Silk Road. Webster was sentenced after lawyers on both sides emphasized the changes he has made since his arrest. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Martin recommended that he receive punishment on the lenient end of sentencing guidelines.
When first detained, Webster was so high on meth he couldn’t speak, Webster’s attorney, Todd Bofferding, told the judge. He has since cleaned up enough to gain custody of his 18-month-old son. He and the baby have been living with Webster’s sister. “Honestly, being busted was the best thing that happened to me,” Webster told U.S. District Court Judge Robert Jones. “I’ve lived my entire life basically high, since being a teenager, and these past 20 months I’ve been clean have really opened my eyes.”
The judge acknowledged the progress but warned that many drug addicts return to their old ways. “You have to become an employable, trustworthy, decent person,” Jones said. Hagen is scheduled to be sentenced in October after pleading guilty to conspiracy to export 50 grams or more of meth and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The Vancouver, Washington, resident holds a PhD in philosophy and used the online name “hammertime.” Ross Ulbricht, a San Francisco man who created Silk Road, was sentenced in May to life in prison after being convicted of seven drug and conspiracy counts.