Gary Davis, the former Silk Road administrator popularly known as “Libertas,” pleaded guilty in a federal court in Manhattan, New York to facilitating the trade of massive quantities of illicit drugs on the darknet market before its seizure in 2013.
Davis was extradited to the U.S. after Ireland’s Supreme Court ordered his extradition to face charges raised in an indictment filed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation back in December 2013.
He had fought against being extradited, citing that he would face inhumane treatment in an American prison without care for his Asperger’s syndrome.
Ultimately, his efforts were in vain as the court found no legal ground to grant his request.
Davis’ Role in Running Silk Road
The 30-year-old man from Wicklow, Ireland started as a forum moderator for the now-defunct marketplace between the months of May to June 2013.
He then later served as one of the site’s administrators from June to October 2013, receiving a weekly salary for his work.
During this time, operating under the alias “Libertas,” he was responsible for addressing the needs of Silk Road users with regards to their account on the site and ensuring that the site’s policies and rules of engagement were adhered to.
He had the power to terminate a user’s account if they broke any of the rules. He also acted as an arbitrator between buyers and vendors whenever a dispute ensued on the site.
He pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, to commit computer hacking and to commit money laundering when he appeared in a court in New York this year.
Pursuit of a Plea Deal
Earlier this month, it was reported that Davis had been in talks with the prosecution for a plea deal. Soon after this, the guilty plea was confirmed by the U.S. Department of Justice.
This turn of events follows the footsteps of other darknet market administrators that came before Davis.
Back in 2015, Australian citizen Peter Philip Nash, a Silk Road moderator known by the handle “Samesamebutdifferent,” pleaded guilty to his charges and was later sentenced to time served after 17 months in custody. Andrew Michael Jones, a Silk Road moderator known as “Inigo,” also pleaded guilty but has yet to be sentenced.
Davis’ guilty plea was announced by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey S. Berman, who stated that Davis admitted that he served an administrator and helped Silk Road founder Ross William Ulbricht, aka “Dread Pirate Roberts” or “DPR,” in running of the site.
Davis is scheduled to be sentenced on January 17, 2019, and if found guilty on the count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
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