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Ireland-Based Admin of Silk Road Marketplace Sentenced to Prison

An Irish man was sentenced to prison this week for his role in running the online black market Silk Road, the U.S. Department of Justice announced. 

An Irish man was sentenced to prison this week for his role in running the online black market Silk Road, the U.S. Department of Justice announced. 

The man, Gary Davis, 30, of Wicklow, Ireland, also known as “Libertas,” was sentenced to 78 months in prison and was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release and to forfeit $25,000.

Davis was a Silk Road forum moderator between May 2013 and June 2013, after which he was a site admin up to October 2, 2013.

Silk Road operated between 2011 and 2013, allowing thousands of unlawful vendors to distribute over $200 million worth of illegal drugs and other illicit goods and services to more than 115,000 buyers, the DoJ says. More than 1.5 million transactions were conducted over Silk Road. 

The marketplace was shut down in October 2013. Its owner, Ross William Ulbricht, also known as “Dread Pirate Roberts,” “DPR,” and “Silk Road,” was sentenced in 2015. 

The site was run by a small support staff consisting of site administrators and forum moderators. Admins would oversee user activity and resolve issues between buyers and vendors, while forum admins would monitor activity on discussion forums and offer guidance on how to conduct business on Silk Road.

Soon after Silk Road was shut down, its successor, Silk Road 2.0, was launched, and Davis served as admin for the new site between November 2013 until December 2013.

Davis was arrested in January 2014 and was extradited to the United States in July 2018. In October 2018, he pled guilty for his role in administrating Silk Road.  

“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,” United States Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman, said. 

Related: Silk Road Admin Pleads Guilty

Related: Silk Road Mastermind Sentenced to Life in Prison

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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