A former Silk Road administrator known as ‘Libertas’ has seen his liberty somewhat restricted by being sentenced to six and a half years in prison for his part in assisting in the running of the dark web site. Gary Davis, 31, was sentenced by a Manhattan Federal Court in addition to three years of supervised release and a $25,000 fine, which is a far cry from the life sentences passed down to founder Ross Ulbricht in 2015.
Authorities Claim Victory
Davis, an Irishman, was arrested in 2014 as part of the FBI’s investigation into the Silk Road operation following Ulbricht’s arrest in 2013. Federal prosecutors charged him with several drug trafficking offenses and sought his extradition to the U.S. to stand trial, which they achieved in 2018. Davis pled guilty to the charges in October, presumably on the basis of a reduced sentence, although a 20-year spell in jail was still on the cards. Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman declared the case a victory for the authorities against dark web criminals:
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 2.0 Involvement
According to court records, Davis worked for Silk Road first as a moderator between May and June 2013 and then as an administrator until October 2013 when Silk Road was shuttered by the FBI. Silk Road 2.0 appeared just weeks after this, which Davis also moderated until his arrest in December that year. Silk Road 2.0 actually operated until November 2014, despite the major players being arrested and jailed.