Sun, Oct 07, 2018 - Page 5 News List

Irish man pleads guilty in US in Silk Road narcotics case

AFP, NEW YORK

A 30-year-old Irish man in New York on Friday pled guilty to narcotics conspiracy over the now-defunct “dark Web” marketplace Silk Road, just months after being extradited to the US.

US prosecutors said Gary Davis, who went by the alias “Libertas,” was a Silk Road administrator in 2013 — paid a weekly salary to carry out duties that included resolving disputes between drug dealers and buyers on the site.

The Wicklow man was arrested in Ireland on January 2014 and extradited to the US in July, where he had faced a battery of charges.

On Friday, he pled guilty in a Manhattan federal court to one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, after cutting a plea deal.

He is expected to be sentenced on Jan. 17 next year.

“As he admitted today, Gary Davis served as an administrator who helped run the Silk Road marketplace,” Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said.

“The purported anonymity of the dark Web is not a protective shield from prosecution,” Davis said.

Until the FBI shut it down in October 2013, the US government called Silk Road “the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet,” used by vendors in more than 10 countries in North America and Europe.

Texan mastermind Ross Ulbricht was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2015 for running the online enterprise that sold US$200 million in drugs worldwide.

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