Irishman jailed over role in notorious darknet marketplace Silk Road walks free

Gary Davis was known as ‘Libertas’ on Silk Road

THE Irishman jailed for his part in running a massive dark net drugs website is set to walk free this week from the US federal prison where infamous mobster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger met his grisly end.

Gary Davis (35), from Kilpeddar, Co Wicklow, who had been an administrator on the infamous Silk Road site, has been in custody in the US since 2018.

He is due to be released from federal correction institute Hazelton in West Virginia later this week, according to the Bureau of Prisons.

A deportation order is in place which means Davis will likely be handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement to be sent back to Ireland when released.

Davis, known online as ‘Libertas’, was extradited from Ireland in 2018 after a long legal battle but admitted his role in a plea deal in October that year.

The following July he was given a six-and-a-half year sentence for conspiracy to traffic drugs.

FCI Hazelton, also known as ‘Misery Mountain’, is a collection of prisons near the town of Bruceton Mills where inmates from all over the US and abroad can end up serving their time.

One of its recent most high-profile prisoners, the Boston-Irish mob boss Whitey Bulger, was murdered there just days after being transferred.

Bulger, who had evaded authorities for decades, was long suspected of being an informant by other gangsters and was reported to have had his eyes gouged with an attempt made to cut out his tongue.

Mafia hitman Fotios ‘Freddy’ Geas is accused of orchestrating the attack and is due to go on trial later this year.

During his legal battle to avoid being extradited to the US, Davis had argued among other points that he would be detained in an inhumane and degrading manner.

After he was indicted, he declined to comment when approached by the Sunday World at his Wicklow home in 2015. He said he “couldn’t possibly comment” until his extradition hearing had been finalised.

Davis ended up spending nine months at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, which has been referred to as the ‘Guantanamo Bay of New York’ due to its poor conditions.

At his sentence hearing, Davis’s defence argued that the prison’s unsanitary and overcrowded conditions were cited in other cases for a reduced sentence.

Despite the conditions, including sharing 26-bed dormitories, his prison record showed he had completed 35 classes, had positive work reports and had tutored other inmates.

Prosecutors had sought a sentence of up to 20 years for Davis due to what they saw as his high-ranking role in Silk Road.

‘Libertas’, the Silk Road account that Davis operated, was responsible for dealing with queries from sellers and organising the drugs for sale on the site into categories.

From February 2, 2011 to October 2, 2013 the FBI said transactions worth $213.9 million were carried out on Silk Road.

In addition to his prison term, Davis was ordered to serve three years of supervised release and to forfeit $25,000.

He was targeted by the US authorities after a scanned image of Davis’s passport was found on the laptop of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht.

Investigators also found information which showed ‘Libertas’ was paid $1,500 in bitcoin every week for dealing with queries from sellers and organising drugs for sale on the site.

Ulbricht, who used the online alias Dread Pirate Roberts, was arrested after an elaborate FBI operation against the website. He was given a life sentence for his part in setting up the website.

Found this interesting? Then check our main news page where you can find all articles related to Crypto, Crime, Darknet, Security and much more!