An Irish national and former Bitcoin.com employee was just sentenced to 78 months of prison in the United States for his role in running the infamous Silk Road website.
Gary Davis, 31, was arrested in Ireland in January 2014 and then extradited to the United States last year, where he pleaded guilty to narcotics conspiracy in October 2018.
Silk Road equals prison time
Law enforcement said that Davis, known online as “Libertas”, had been a forum moderator for Silk Road from May 2013 to June 2013, after which he then served as an administrator between June 2013 and October 2013.
Davis was reportedly paid a salary of US$6,000 [AU$8,680] per month for duties that included investigating disputes between vendors and buyers, providing customer support, and enforcing the rules set forth by Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht.
After Silk Road was shut down by authorities, law enforcement said that Davis then went on to serve as an administrator for Silk Road 2.0, the successor to the original defunct site, for November and December 2013.
Davis was also once an employee of Bitcoin.com and, according to the company, suffered from Asperger’s syndrome.
Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver “lamented” the arrest and extradition in a video (now deleted) on Ver’s personal YouTube channel.
U.S. police say Silk Road was the number one Dark Web marketplace for narcotics and other illicit items from January 2011 through October 2013, boasting a total of over 1.5 million transactions that featured an overall price tag of over US$213 million.
“Gary Davis helped run the Silk Road website – a dark web marketplace for illegal drugs, hacking services, and other criminal activity,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S Berman.
“Davis’ 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,” Berman added.
After his 78-month prison sentence, Davis will then undergo three years of supervised release and pay the court $25,000.
Silk Road founder doing hard time
Compared to the founder of the site, Ross Ulbricht, Davis is getting off light with his 78-month sentence.
Ulbricht, known as Dread Pirate Roberts on the site, was sentenced to double life imprisonment plus 40 years after being convicted of money laundering, computer hacking, and conspiracy to traffic narcotics back in 2015.
Another Silk Road arrest
It’s been a busy week when it comes to Silk Road.
Authorities recently arrested Brian Haney, 60, for trying to launder $19 million in Bitcoin gained from selling narcotics on the dark web site.
Prosecutors say Haney was a high-ranking member, or possible administrator, of Pharmville, one of the largest drug vendors on the platform.
Haney had held onto his bitcoins but was recently caught as he tried to launder them by law enforcement using blockchain analytics to track the cryptocurrency.
Haney is facing one charge of concealment money laundering and one count of engaging in a financial transaction in criminally derived property.
He is facing a maximum of 10 years in prison for the illicit financial transaction charge and up to 20 years for the money laundering charge.