Silk Road Suspect Loses Extradition Appeal

Gary Davis, an Irishman accused of expediting the operation of Silk Road, was apprehended after the Supreme Court cleared the way for his extradition to the United States.

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He will face multiple conspiracy charges of narcotics distribution, potentially receiving a lifetime imprisonment sentence in the U.S.

Additionally, he also faces accusations of conspiracy to commit money laundering and computer hacking.

U.S. Marshalls Extradition Order

U.S Marshall police badge
Ireland’s Supreme Court denies the extradition appeal of an alleged Silk Road associate facing money laundering, hacking and drug charges in the US.

Davis, 29 years old, reportedly remained still even after his appeal was rejected in Ireland, although his family members looked visibly upset. U.S. Marshalls arrived in Dublin to escort Davis to New York, where he will remain behind bars at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre awaiting trial at an undetermined date.

The Supreme Court, after hearing representations from Davis’ legal team, agreed to establish a 48-hour stay within his surrender to allow consideration for any appeal avenues to the European Human Rights Court.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation filed an indictment in December 2013 purported that the suspect was an employee of Ross Ulbricht, the founder of Silk Road, and operated under the pseudonym “Libertas.”

Ulbricht, who is currently serving a life sentence without parole in the U.S., is understood to have amassed $18 million worth of profit through levies on the projected $1.2 billion the website made in the illegal drug trade.

Silk Road has often been cited as the Amazon of black market websites, the first of its kind. It organized multiple products into categories and purchasers could rate sellers to outline drug quality as well as delivery speed.

However, since the FBI closed it, after extensive and elaborate investigation, the site became the prototype for the ever-growing network of darknet markets that took its place.

Details of Davis’ Case

A series of payments on Ulbricht’s laptop indicated that Libertas received $1,500 in Bitcoin each week for sorting out queries from vendors as well as organizing drugs into categories for sale.

Davis was arraigned in court in January 2014 and opposed his extradition, claiming that he suffers from Asperger’s syndrome and would therefore not receive proper care during his wait for trial.

Last year in March, he also had another appeal against his extradition dismissed by the Irish Court of Appeal. The court then moved to allow him to appeal the decision in the Supreme Court.

Justice William McKechnie, who was presiding over a bench of five judges, outlined that although Ireland was obliged to safeguard individuals from neglect if surrendered overseas, the court was not satisfied that in his case, there was no real risk.

Further, Justice McKechnie also outlined that Davis was unable to establish a fault of law in both rulings as made by the Court of Appeal and the High Court.

Word APPEAL composed of wooden letters. Statue of Themis and judge's gavel in the background
He will face multiple conspiracy charges of narcotics distribution, potentially receiving a lifetime imprisonment sentence in the U.S.

Therefore, there were no grounds for the court to refuse his extradition. This means that Davis has now exhausted all his appeals in Ireland and his only chance of blocking the extradition is for his case to go to the European Court of Human Rights.

Davis is yet to outline how he plans to plead once in New York.

While in the High Court, he stated to one doctor that he was a case of mistaken identity and he was unsure of how a copy of his passport found its way into Ulbricht’s computer.

Throughout the four years of his case, the State is yet to accept the medical evidence claiming that Davis’ condition was too adverse to allow him to face trial in the U.S.

In the initial High Court hearing back in 2015, it was posited that Davis did not have Asperger’s condition until after he was initially arrested.

According to Remy Farrell, a representative of the Attorney General of Ireland, the defense argument citing Davis’ condition was only brought on under the circumstances of the extradition case.