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Silk Road site admin extradited to US hit with 78-month prison sentence

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Irish man Gary Davis, also known as “Libertas,” has been sentenced to 78 months in prison for helping to run the now defunct Silk Road website on the dark web.

The Irish national, who was extradited to the US in July last year, was arrested in January 2014.

Anyone who’s been following Bitcoin and the dark web for some time will know that Silk Road operated at unprecedented levels.

During its heyday, from 2011 until 2013, the site was used by thousands of drug deals to distribute more than $200 million worth of illegal drugs and other illicit goods and services to more than 115,000 buyers.

Powered by Bitcoin payments, it was also used to launder hundreds of millions of dollars derived from those unlawful transactions.

Davis pled guilty before United States District Judge Jesse M. Furman, who also imposed his sentence in October last year.

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.”

Silk Road was ran and owned by Ross William Ulbricht, aka Dread Pirate Roberts, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2015.

Ulbricht ran the website with the help of support staff, including site administrators and forum moderators.

Davis served as a forum moderator from approximately May 2013 until June 2013. From June 2013 until about October 2, 2013, he worked as a site administrator.

As part of this role, Davis responsibilities included responding to customer support requests from Silk Road users who needed help with their buyer or seller accounts on the marketplace.

He was also tasked with investigating disputes that arose between vendors and buyers, including reporting his findings to Ulbricht.

Davis was also responsible for helping to enforce the rules for doing business on Silk Road, which had been set by Ulbricht.

After law enforcement shut down the original Silk Road in early October 2013, its virtually identical successor Silk Road 2.0 emerged.

Davis served as an administrator for Silk Road 2.0 from approximately November 2013 until December 2013.

Published July 26, 2019 — 14:35 UTC