Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

07.16 26 Jul 2019


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An Irish man who was extradited to the US has been sentenced to more than six years in prison for his role in helping operate the Silk Road website.

31-year-old Gary Davis from Kilpedder in Wicklow had pleaded guilty to narcotics conspiracy in October last year.

Silk Road was an online 'dark web' black market for illegal drugs and other goods.

It was owned and operated by Ross William Ulbricht, aka 'Dread Pirate Roberts'.

According to US officials, more than 1.5 million transactions with a total value of more than $213 million were conducted over the site between January 2011 and October 2013.

They say almost 95% of the sales were for illegal drugs.

Officials alleged Gary Davis - aka 'Libertas' - served as a forum moderator between May and June 2013, and then as a site administrator between June 2013 and October 2nd 2013.

He is said to have been paid a weekly salary for his work as an administrator, a role which included responsibilities such as investigating disputes between vendors and buyers.

US authorities also said Davis served as an administration for the 'virtually identical' Silk Road successor Silk Road 2.0 between November and December 2013, after the original website was shut down by law enforcement.

Davis was arrested in Ireland in January 2014 and was last year extradited to the United States.

The 31-year-old last year pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Jesse M Furman, and the judge yesterday sentenced the Irish man to 78 months in prison.

He has also been ordered to serve three years of supervised release and to forfeit $25,000 (€22,400).

Manhattan US 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.”

Mr Berman thanked various authorities for their role in the investigation, as well as the Garda Computer Crime Investigation Unit for their 'valuable assistance and support'.

Main image: File photo of Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse in New York. Picture by: Erik McGregor/SIPA USA/PA Images

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