Gary Davis, aka ‘Libertas,’ was sentenced in the Southern District of New York.

Irish man Gary Davis has been sentenced to prison and fined for his involvement with the Dark Web’s so-called ‘Silk Road’ black market operations.

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Davis, a native of Co Wicklow, was first arrested back in Ireland in 2014 and was extradited to US in July 2018. 

Last October, the 31-year-old Irish man pled guilty before United States District Judge Jesse M. Furman “to conspiring to distribute massive quantities of narcotics, a charge arising out of his role as a member of the small administrative staff of “Silk Road.” 

On July 25, Judge Furman handed down a 78-month prison sentence to Davis, while also ordering him to serve three years of supervised release and to forfeit $25,000.

InnerCity Press reports that Davis’s parents flew over from Ireland for their son’s sentencing, and apparently will again to wherever on the East Coast Davis is designated.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Gary Davis helped run the Silk Road website – a dark web marketplace for illegal drugs, hacking services, and other criminal activity.”

“Davis’s arrest, extradition from Ireland, conviction, and prison sentence should send an unmistakable message: the dark web does not cast shadows long enough to protect criminals from the long arm of the law.”

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What is Silk Road?

The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said in a statement: “Silk Road was an online black market of unprecedented scope.”

“During its operation from 2011 until 2013, Silk Road was used by thousands of drug dealers and other unlawful vendors to distribute over $200 million worth of illegal drugs and other illicit goods and services to more than 115,000 buyers and to launder hundreds of millions of dollars derived from those unlawful transactions.”

Silk Road was founded, owned, and operated by Ross Ulbricht, who was sentenced to double life imprisonment plus forty years, without the possibility of parole on May 29, 2015.

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What was Gary Davis’s involvement with Silk Road?

From approximately May through June in 2013, Davis, who went by the moniker ‘Libertas,’ served as a forum moderator on Silk Road, before transitioning to a site administrator from June through October of that year.

“In his role as a site administrator, Davis’s responsibilities included (1) responding to customer support requests from Silk Road users who needed assistance with their buyer or seller accounts on the marketplace; (2) investigating disputes that arose between vendors (e.g., drug dealers) and buyers, including reporting his findings to Ulbricht; and (3) helping enforce the rules for doing business on Silk Road, which had been set by Ulbricht.”

“For instance, there was a rule against “out of escrow” sales – i.e., sellers and buyers arranging payments off the site to avoid paying Silk Road commissions.  When violations of this rule were discovered, Davis had the ability to demote a vendor or refer the vendor (e.g., to Ulbricht) for further discipline. Ulbricht paid Davis a weekly salary for his work as a site administrator.”

"Shortly after law enforcement shut down the original Silk Road in early October 2013, its virtually identical successor – Silk Road 2.0 – was launched.  From approximately November 2013 until December 2013, Davis served as an administrator for Silk Road 2.0."