A Wicklow, Ireland, resident was finally extradited to the United States to face drug, computer intrusion and money laundering charges, officials said.
Charges against Gary Davis, 30, stem from his involvement for the now defunct “dark web” marketplace Silk Road, law enforcement officials said.
He was extradited to the United States to face charges in New York four years after his arrest, prosecutors said last week.
Davis, who went by the alias “Libertas,” was a Silk Road administrator in 2013, prosecutors said.
He faces three charges: One count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, one count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
From June 2013 up to October 2, 2013, GARY DAVIS, a/k/a “Libertas,” the defendant, worked as a site administrator on Silk Road, DoJ officials said. In that role, Davis’ 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. 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 could terminate the vendor’s account or otherwise restrict the vendor’s privileges, and he typically reported such incidents to Ulbricht. Davis was paid a weekly salary for his work as a site administrator.
Davis was arrested in January 2014 and appeared before a Manhattan federal court Friday.
“Thanks to our partner agencies here and abroad, Davis now faces justice in an American court,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman.
Until the FBI shut it down in October 2013, the U.S. government called Silk Road “the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet” used by vendors in more than 10 countries in North America and Europe.
Ross Ulbricht, the Silk Road creator, ended up convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2015 for running the online enterprise that sold $200 million in drugs worldwide.
Operating under the alias “Dread Pirate Roberts,” Ulbricht earned $13 million in commissions by making the purchase of heroin, cocaine and crystal meth as easy as shopping online at eBay or Amazon, the government said.