- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Gary Davis, an Irishman accused of helping run the notorious Silk Road website prior to its shuttering in 2013, was cleared Wednesday to face related charges in the United States, regional media reported.

Ireland’s Supreme Court unanimously ruled 5-0 to dismiss an appeal filed by Mr. Davis aimed at preventing his extradition to the U.S., where he faces potential life imprisonment if convicted on drug, hacking and money laundering charges related to the defunct deep web bazaar, RTE reported.

The high court granted Mr. Davis a 48-hour stay to weigh the ruling and consider his options, including surrendering for extradition to the U.S. and appealing before the European Court of Human Rights.

“We are still reviewing the judgment,” Lana Doherty, a defense attorney for Mr. Davis, told The Washington Times later Wednesday.

Launched in 2011, Silk Road functioned as an online marketplace where contraband including drugs and weapons could be bought and sold using Bitcoin, ultimately facilitating upwards of $1.2 billion in illegal sales prior to being seized in September 2013 in tandem with the arrest of the site’s alleged administrator, Ross Ulbricht.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced charges against Mr. Davis shortly after Ulbricht’s arrest, including counts of narcotics conspiracy, conspiracy to commit computer hacking and money laundering conspiracy. Ireland’s High Court approved his extradition in August 2016, prompting the appeal that culminated in Wednesday’s ruling.

Mr. Davis allegedly worked as a site administrator for Silk Road and was received a salary for Ulbricht in exchange for “monitoring user activity on Silk Road for problems, responding to customer service inquiries and resolving disputes between buyers and vendors,” according to the criminal indictment against him.

Defense attorneys had argued against extradition on multiple grounds, claiming in part that their client’s Asperger’s syndrome and depression should be considered by the court in light of the looming life sentence he risks if being sent abroad.

Ireland’s Supreme Court concluded that Mr. Davis had not proven that there was a real risk his fundamental rights would be infringed if extradited, RTE reported.

Ulbricht, 34, was convicted of charges related to Silk Road in 2015 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Earlier this month, meanwhile, another one of his alleged deputies, Roger Thomas Clark, was extradited to the U.S. from Thailand after unsuccessfully fighting against facing similar charges.

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