Gary Davis, the Silk Road Co-Administrator Loses Extradition Appeal

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Mr Gary Davis, 28, who was arrested on the ground of helping Ross Ulbricht to run Silk Road website in 2013, lost an appeal on Tuesday morning. He has been taken to custody and awaits his charges on his conspiracies. He faces charges of conspiracy to distribute narcotics to people in the United States of America. This, however, carries a life sentence under the law of the US. In addition to his charges, he is also accused of conspiracy to commit computer hacking and conspiracy to commit money laundering. This is the hallmark of most Darknet markets such as Cryptomarket. Mr Gary Davis looked expectant of the dismissal of his appeal as he did not react but was led away from the court after he shortly gave a passionate hug to his family.

Situation That Led To His Arrest

Ulbricht ran the website under the name Dread Pirate Roberts. On January 9, 2014, the high court issued a warrant which led to his arrest on foot. According to the details of his charge as read out by the High Court in Dublin, Mr. Davis was accused of acting as an administrator of Silk Road using the online alias ‘Libertas’. As indicated in the indictment signed by the FBI in December 2013, Mr. Gary Davis was employed by Ross Ulbricht, the founder of the old Silk Road market. His employer, Ulbricht is currently serving a life sentence in the US. A log of payment found on the Silk Road founder’s computer revealed that Gary Davis was paid $1,500 in bitcoin per week. His major work on the website was dealing with queries from vendors, and also organizing the drugs on the website for sale into categories.

The Silk Road platform has allowed dealers to engage in illicit drugs, and some of these dealers have been arrested on that ground. Ulbricht is believed to have made $18 million (€16.1 million) profit from $200 million worth of drugs sold on the website. In a report released by the FBI investigator, ‘Libertas’ was suspected by agents for being primed to take over the marketplace when his arrest was made in 2013. After his initial arrest, he was remanded in custody with consent to bail. This was set at his own bond of €100, and an independent surety of €10,000.

According to a source close to the accused, Mr Davis prepared a legal team in New York where he would be extradited within 15 days if no appeal was made by the Supreme Court in Ireland. In August 2016, the High Court ordered his surrender and an appeal was therefore dismissed by three Judges who sat in the Court of appeal on Tuesday morning.

Gary Davis, however, believes that there is a mistaken identity as he did not know how a copy of his passport found itself on Ulbricht’s computer when it was seized. “I don’t know how they roped me into it,” said Gary Davis to a psychiatrist in an interview. This was part of his claim that his Asperger’s syndrome is too severe to be extradited to a US prison.

This condition seems to be the only way Gary Davis can rely on to escape jail in a US prison. In his initial hearing at the High Court in 2015, it emerged that Mr Gary Davis had not had the condition diagnosed until after his arrest. “A mild case of Asperger’s brought on by a bad case of extradition,” said Remy Farrell who was representing the Irish attorney-general, to the Court.

John O’Kelly, SC, was a representative of Gary Davis in court during his appeal, and he told the court that his client lacked the “street smarts” for prison life. He will, therefore, face violence from gangs in the prison since his condition will make him stand out. This will, therefore, make him a target in jail.

Despite all the cases presented by John O’Kelly SC, on behalf of Davis Gary, the Court dismissed the case on Tuesday morning.

According to the Judge, the Court could not consider an appeal under the expedition Act. The appeal was found to be a fact of the case rather than a point of the law. However, Justice Mahon stated that the Court could not reach a different conclusion even if the original judges’ findings have to be reviewed. “I in no way seek to diminish or trivialize the very real concerns and worries of the appellant and his family as he faces the prospect of extradition to the United States and being imprisoned there,” Mr Justice Mahon said. “Such a prospect would be daunting for an individual in robust mental health let alone someone coping with a significant mental health condition.”

To him (Gary Davis), he has been “loner, naive and immature” and he was obsessed with computers from an early age.

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