In context: The original Silk Road might have shut down in 2013, but those who helped operate the notorious black market are still facing the legal consequences of their actions. One of the site’s administrators, Irish national Gary Davis, has just been sentenced to 78 months in prison for his role.
During its time on the dark web between 2011 and 2013 (there was also a short-lived Silk Road 2.0 after the first site shuttered), Silk Road operated as a platform for buying and selling drugs, weapons, and other illegal goods and services.
Davis, who was known as ‘Libertas’ on the site, was a forum moderator between May and June 2013 before working as a site administrator between June 2013 and October 2, 2013. He received a weekly wage for the latter position, which involved dealing with disputes between vendors and buyers and responding to customer inquiries. He was also an administrator for Slik Road 2.0 during November and December 2013.
Davis was arrested in Ireland in January 2014. He spent years battling against extradition to the US but lost his fight last year, and in October 2018, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute narcotics. Yesterday, a Manhattan Federal Court sentenced him to 6 and a half years in prison for his crime. Davis was also fined $25,000 and ordered to serve three years of supervised release.
"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," said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman.
Back in 2015, Ross Ulbricht, the man charged with creating and running Silk Road, was given a double life sentence plus 40 years without the possibility of parole. An appeal to overturn his life sentence was rejected in 2017, and the Supreme Court declined to hear a further appeal in June last year.