Silk Road Operator Libertas Pleads Guilty, Seeks Plea Deal
Gary Davis, an Irishman who was extradited to the United States in July to face charges for his suspected involvement in the operations of Silk Road, has reportedly begun discusssing a plea bargain with prosecutors. Davis, who was known as ‘Libertas’ on Silk Road, has pled guilty to conspiring to distribute narcotics – a charge resulting from roles as a Silk Road administrator.
Silk Road Administrator Libertas Pleads Guilty
Earlier this month, Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Davis had pled guilty to “conspiring to distribute massive quantities of narcotics,” a charge which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years stemming from his role as “a member of the small administrative staff” tasked with operating Silk Road during 2013.
Authorities claim that Davis received weekly remittances from Ulbricht exceeding $1,000 during 2013 in exchange for his work as part of a three-man team that is believed to have operated the anonymous market on behalf of its founder, Ross Ulbricht. Davis served as a forum moderator from May 2013 up to June 2013 for Silk Road, and as a site administrator from June 2013 up until Oct. 2, 2013.
Davis is currently scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 17, 2019.
Silk Road Responsibilities
Court documents state that as a forum moderator, Davis had been responsible for, among other things, “monitoring user activity on discussion forums associated with the site, providing guidance to forum users concerning how to conduct business on Silk Road, and reporting any significant problems discussed on the forums to the site administrators and to Ulbricht.”
As a site administrator, Davis was later tasked with, “monitoring user activity on Silk Road for problems, responding to customer service inquiries, and resolving disputes between buyers and vendors.”
Berman emphasized his belief that Davis’ arrest evidences that the activities of dark web users are not beyond reproach from authorities, stating: “Silk Road was a secret online marketplace for illegal drugs, hacking services, and a whole host of other criminal activity. As he admitted today, Gary Davis served as an administrator who helped run the Silk Road marketplace. Davis’s arrest, extradition from Ireland, and conviction should send a clear message: the purported anonymity of the dark web is not a protective shield from prosecution.”
The case is being prosecuted by the Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit of the United States Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael D. Neff, Eun Young Choi, and Timothy Howard are in charge of the prosecution.
Are you surprised by the news that Libertas is seeking a plea deal? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock
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