It has been nearly four years since the Federal Bureau of Investigation shut down the original Silk Road, and cases related to the infamous darknet market are still in development.
An Irish man who has been accused of playing a vital role in the administration of the Silk Road market planned another appeal to the Supreme Court after his extradition to the United States was ordered.
US authorities want 28-year-old Gary Davis of Johnstown Court, Wicklow to face trial on charges of distributing narcotics, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and conspiracy to commit computer hacking.
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If Gary Davis were to be convicted in the United States, he faces the possibility of a life sentence.
Davis was indicted by the United States government in 2014 following the takedown of the Silk Road darknet market.
He has been out on bail since he was apprehended in January 2014.
His appeals have mainly focused on the fact that he suffers strongly from Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism.
Going by the details of the formal charge by the Dublin High Court, Gary Davis was accused of being a Silk Road administrator under the pseudonym “Libertas.” Silk Road is said to have enabled the dealing of drugs including but not limited to crystal meth, crack cocaine, marijuana, and cocaine.
Allegedly, Gary Davis received a weekly sum of $1,500 as compensation for his services at Silk Road.
This is according to a payment log discovered in a computer belonging to the incarcerated Silk Road founder, Ross William Ulbricht.
Davis’ responsibilities at Silk Road included addressing vendor queries and indexing the drugs for sale on the darknet market.
Two other administrators of the Silk Road, Andrew Jones (Inigo) and Peter Nash (SSBD), were also indicted by the FBI.
An Irish High court ordered for his extradition in August 2016.
Gary Davis filed an appeal against that order.
His appeal was dismissed by at the Court of Appeal by a three-judge panel in a final hearing on February 28, 2017.
Justice Alan Mahon confirmed that the law does not permit the appeal since its subject matter was not based on a point of law, although he did voice concern for Davis’ condition.
He touched on the daunting nature of Davis’ incarceration, but made an assurance that his concerns would be addressed by US authorities within their mandate and capabilities
The panel ordered his extradition after deliberate consideration of evidence pertaining to Davis’ medical condition and the US federal prison system.
Due to his medical condition, Davis felt that detention in a US federal prison would be inhumane and degrading.
According to his representative at the Court of Appeal, John O’Kelly SC, individuals with a severe form of this syndrome rely heavily on the support of their loved ones.
He reiterated that extradition to the US would have a significant impact on his physical and mental well-being.
According to reports, psychiatrists Michael Fitzgerald and Simon Barron-Cohen both confirmed that Davis was indeed afflicted with severer Asperger’s Syndrome.
However, the initial proceedings at the High Court in 2015 revealed that the Silk Road administrator had not been diagnosed with the condition prior to his arrest.
Davis’ chief council, John B Peart, stated that the defense sought to appeal to the Supreme Court within the limited 15-day window following the court date.
This is the standard time period where authorities cannot extradite a defendant.
Reports indicate, however, that Davis acquired information about a possible early extradition.
Justice George Birmingham denied this claim forwarded by John O’Kelly.
Given the 15-day allowance to appeal a court decision according to extradition conditions, it is quite surprising that the US marshals picked up Gary Davis before the expiration of this period.
According to Davis’ solicitor, Lana Doherty, no information was availed relating to that development.
At the moment, there is no information on how the Silk Road administrator planned to plead in the United States.