Silk Road admin pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges and faces up to 20 years in prison
7.10.2018 securityaffairs Crime
Gary Davis, one of the admins and moderators of the notorious Silk Road black marketplace, pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges.
Gary Davis is an Irish national (20) who was one of the admins and moderators of the notorious Silk Road black marketplace, on Friday he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges.
“Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that GARY DAVIS, a/k/a “Libertas,” pled guilty today 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.” ” reads the DoJ press release.
“Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “Silk Road was a secret online marketplace for illegal drugs, hacking services, and a whole host of other criminal activity. As he admitted today, Gary Davis served as an administrator who helped run the Silk Road marketplace. Davis’s arrest, extradition from Ireland, and conviction should send a clear message: the purported anonymity of the dark web is not a protective shield from prosecution.”
The man, who is also known as Libertas, could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Davis also provided customer support to Silk Road users in 2013, for this job he received a weekly salary.
“From May 2013 up to June 2013, DAVIS served as a forum moderator for Silk Road. From June 2013 up to October 2, 2013, DAVIS worked as a site administrator on Silk Road. ” continues the press release.
“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) serving as an arbitrator by resolving disputes that arose between drug dealers and buyers on the site; and (3) enforcing the rules for doing business on Silk Road, which had been set by Ulbricht. “
Silk Road was seized by law enforcement in 2013 and his founder Ross William Ulbricht (aka Dread Pirate Roberts) was arrested, later it was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted on multiple counts related to the Silk Road activity.
According to FBI, between February of 2011 and July 2013, Silk Road managed $1.2 billion worth of transactions for 957,079 users, the total earning for Ulbricht was nearly $80 million.
According to the DoJ press release, more than $200 million worth of illegal drugs and other contraband were sold through the black market.
The FBI also seized about $33.6 million worth of Bitcoin that were sold by authorities in a series of auctions.
In November 2013, after the seizure of the original Silk Road, a new version of the popular black market was launched, so-called Silk Road 2.0, and Libertas was one of the administrators, but it is not clear is the pseudonymous was still used by Davis at the time.
Davis was identified and arrested in Ireland in January 2014, he made opposition to the extradition in the U.S. due to his mental health and fearing for his life. He was arguing that the extradition and consequent incarceration in the U.S. were violating his fundamental rights.
Davis was extradited to the United States in July 2014, he is expected to be sentenced on 17 January 2019 by Judge Furman.
“DAVIS, 30, of Wicklow, Ireland, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.” concludes the DoJ. “The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge. DAVIS is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Furman on January 17, 2019 at 3:30 p.m.”