Ireland’s High Court has ordered the extradition to the United States of a Wicklow man alleged to have been an administrator of the criminal underground website Silk Road.
The Irish Times reports that Gary Davis, 27, of Johnstown Court, Kilpedder, County Wicklow, is wanted for trial by authorities in the U.S. on charges of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, conspiracy to commit computer hacking and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
On Friday, Justice Paul McDermott rejected all grounds of Davis’s opposition to the extradition request and ruled that he be surrendered to the United States. Davis, who was present in court at the time of the ruling, is expiated to appeal the decision.
Davis, who claims he suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome and depression, objected to the extradition saying that if extradited he will be detained in an inhuman and degrading manner.
He also said that the formal request seeking his surrender lacks clarity and that the details of the charges against him are vague. It was also argued that Davis should have been charged with corresponding offenses he is accused of by the US in Ireland.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Professor Juan Mendez said he was concerned about the conditions at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre (MCC), the facility in New York City where Davis would likely be held if extradited to the U.S.
Davis’s lawyers argued during the hearing that Davis’s mental health would suffer if he were to be held in isolation at a special housing unit within the MCC.
The court rejected these points, and lawyers for the Attorney General said there was no evidence that David would be held in the special housing unit at the MCC.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation shut down the Silk Road website in 2013. The site, which was launched in 2011 and dealt with illegal drugs and hacking software, hosted a “sprawling black market bazaar” on the internet.
The site was created by Ross William Ulbricht, under the pseudonym ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’ (DPR). Ulbricht, an American, was arrested in 2013 and charged with money laundering, trafficking drugs and hacking offenses. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Gary Davis is accused of acting as a site administrator on the website under the name ‘Libertas’ between June 2013 and October 2013. US authorities claim he had an “explicit knowledge of the items for sale on the website.”
The drugs available on the site included LSD, cocaine, heroin and amphetamines, reports the Irish Times.
If convicted, David could receive a life sentence.
Here's a report from the Guardian one year ago on Silk Road: