Silk Road Market: Gary Davies, 31, has been sentenced to 78-months in prison after years of drama in his drug-related case. In addition, he was handed a three year supervised release clause and to forfeit $25,000 on the authority of the court ruling on Thursday. Davies was an active administrative member of the infamous Silk Road Marketplace shut down by the FBI in 2013. In his previous appearance at the court, Davies pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute a large quantity of illegal drugs.

During the court session, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman stated that the arrest and the prosecution of Davies, known on the dark web forum as “Libertas” sends a strong message to the world that the dark web does not cast shadow long enough to protect criminals from the long hands of the law.

Image Source: www.Irishtimes.com

According to the criminal complaint read at the court, Davies became a part of the Silk Road staff and took charge of the forum moderator role in May and June 2013. A few months later, he was promoted to take charge of the administrative role with the power to demote vendors. In an instance, a vendor was discovered to have violated the website rule by arranging payments outside the escrow service of the site, denying the platform of its fair share of the commission. Davies executed his responsibility by demoting the vendor. In some cases, he referred rule-breakers to the general overseer of the site, Ross Ulbricht.

Gary Davies was mandated to enforce the rules and regulations guiding the website. In addition, he was responsible for settling all disputes that arose between buyers and vendors, and reporting everything to Ulbricht. Also, he was in charge with the customer support of the site. He was actively providing assistance to users who had questions with setting up the buyers or sellers accounts, and attending to other matters.

Image Source: thetimes.co.uk

In October 2013, the FBI staged one of the biggest dark web crackdowns ever by shutting down the Silk Road Market and arresting Ross Ulbricht on multiple charges. Authorities stated that the Silk Road Market had played a huge role in illegal drug trafficking, money laundering, and hacking activities. Authorities confiscated 144,000 Bitcoins which were later auctioned. Silk Road had about 10,000 products of which 70% were drugs. After it was taken down, over 130 arrests have been made which are directly and indirectly related to the market. Authorities revealed that a total of 1.5 million transactions were facilitated on the website between January 2011 and October 2013. This is worth $213 million.

Gary Davis administrated another site called Silk Road 2.0 with other former Silk Road administrators including Brian Farrell, Blake Benthall and Thomas White somewhere in November 2013. This site was meant to replace the old Silk Road to execute similar services. However, authorities reacted swiftly to arrest all the architects behind the site. Davies was arrested in Ireland in January 2014.

In 2018, Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, extradited him from the Ireland to the United States. Davies made all possible efforts to stage a legal fight against his extradition by appealing to the court. However, the appeal was dismissed on the ground that it was not based upon a point of the law. Davies wanted to escape extradition on the ground that he suffers a severe Asperger’s Syndrome and depression which needs the attention of his family. In addition, he expressed concern about being detained in inhumane manner.

He faced multiple charges of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit computer hacking. He however pleaded guilty to one count.

Thomas White was earlier sentenced to five years and four months in jail for facilitating illegal drug trade on the Silk Road 2.0.

The case is a product of the joint operation of the FBI and its New York Special Operation and Cyber Division, the Drug Enforcement Administration New York Field Division, and Immigration and Custom Enforcement Homeland Security Investigation in collaboration with the Irish Republic’s Computer Crime Investigation Unit.

The battle against illegal drug operation has been an intensive one after the arrest of Ulbricht. Authorities shut down another popular marketplace called AlphaBay market in 2017 and arrested Alexandre Cazes, an alleged administrator. Unfortunate, he was found dead in his cell after authorities ordered his extradition to the U.S. The moderator and a number of vendors associated with the website were arrested. Authorities have pledged to use the Silk Road shut down as a model for future operations.

Source: Irish Central


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