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Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht appeals life sentence

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The American jailed for life for masterminding the online criminal enterprise Silk Road, which sold $200 million in drugs across the world, has appealed his sentence, court papers showed Friday.

It was the maximum possible punishment for Ross Ulbricht, who was sentenced to two life terms, and five, 15 and 20 years for hacking, trafficking in false documents and money laundering.

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The defense had requested the mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years and not even the government had requested the full life term.

The 31-year-old, from a middle class family and educated at graduate school, filed the appeal at the US federal court in New York on Thursday — a week after his sentencing.

He ran Silk Road under the alias “Dread Pirate Roberts,” amassing $13 million in Bitcoins in commissions by making the purchase of heroin and cocaine as easy as shopping online at eBay or Amazon.

At least six people died as a result of ingesting drugs linked to Silk Road.

Prosecutors said Ulbricht commissioned five murders, although there is no evidence that the killings for hire ever took place.

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Silk Road conducted 50,000 sales of heroin, 80,000 sales of cocaine and 30,000 of methamphetamine, the trial heard.

“What you did was unprecedented,” said US District Judge Katherine Forrest. “You have to pay the consequences.”

Forrest said the court also sought the forfeiture of more than $183.9 million in Silk Road drug profits.

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His four-week trial had been considered a landmark case in the murky world of online crime and government surveillance.

Given the significant public interest in the case, Forrest said his sentence had to serve as a deterrent to others, reflect the severity of his crimes and protect society.

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Florida sheriff ordered his officers to not wear face masks — and then banned the safety gear

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A Florida sheriff ordered his officers to not wear face masks -- and banned the safety gear from his office -- even as the southern US state has hit record daily coronavirus death tolls.

Sheriff Billy Woods, of central Florida's Marion County, emailed deputies Tuesday to tell them of the new mask prohibition, according to local paper the Ocala Star Banner, citing the message.

"My order will stand as is when you are on-duty/working as my employee and representing my Office – masks will not be worn," the email read.

The sheriff allowed for certain exceptions, including for officers who work in prisons, schools, hospitals or with people suspected of being infected with the virus.

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Fast-moving brush fire north of Los Angeles has prompted mandatory evacuation orders for some 500 homes

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A fast-moving brush fire north of Los Angeles prompted mandatory evacuation orders for some 500 homes on Wednesday as firefighters battled the flames that had burned 10,000 acres by early evening, authorities said.

The Lake Fire erupted at around 3:30 pm (2230 GMT) near Lake Hughes, about a 90-minute drive from Los Angeles.

Rapidly-spreading flames had scorched some 10,000 acres (4,050 hectares) within a little more than three hours, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

"Multiple agencies are battling a brush fire near the Lake Hughes area in the Angeles National Forest," the department said in a tweet.

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‘Trump should know how to be in public with a woman who publicly humiliated him’: Trevor Noah jokes

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"The Daily Show's" Trevor Noah couldn't help but notice President Donald Trump's confusion during the Q&A of his daily coronavirus press briefing. Trump was asked about Vice President Joe Biden's pick as Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his running mate. In his attacks on Harris, Trump seemed to be spending more time defending Biden than he did attacking him.

Trump claimed the reason he was surprised Biden picked Harris is that she was "very very nasty to Joe Biden," he said she was "probably nastier even than Pocahontas," his nickname for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). "She was very disrespectful to Joe Biden."

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