- The Washington Times - Friday, June 29, 2018

Gary Davis, an Irishman wanted by U.S. prosecutors for allegedly helping to run the infamous Silk Road website shuttered by the FBI in 2013, will surrender to authorities so he can face charges abroad and potential life imprisonment, his lawyer said Friday.

Lana Doherty, a defense attorney for Mr. Davis, told The Washington Times that her client will not fight a decision handed down this week by Ireland’s Supreme Court ordering his extradition to the U.S., where he faces a possible life sentence if convicted on counts connected to the groundbreaking deep web bazaar.

“Mr. Gary Davis having taken the opportunity to consider the decision of the Supreme Court and subsequent advices has taken the decision to not pursue his right of appeal to the European Court of Human Rights and instead to surrender himself to the United States Authorities for Extradition,” she said in an email.

Mr. Davis was charged by U.S. prosecutors in 2013 with criminal counts of narcotics conspiracy, conspiracy to commit computer hacking and money laundering conspiracy related to Silk Road, an online marketplace that investigators linked to facilitating over $1.2 billion in illegal transactions prior to being seized by authorities.

He had fought against being extradited, but Ireland’s highest court unanimously ruled 5-0 to dismiss his appeal Wednesday, giving defense attorneys 48 hours to either challenge the decision further or schedule his surrender.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, where Mr. Davis was indicted, declined to comment.

Silk Road was launched in 2011 and quickly “emerged as the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet,” the Justice Department said previously, “serving as a sprawling black-market bazaar where unlawful goods and services, including illegal drugs of virtually all varieties, were bought and sold regularly by the site’s users.”

The FBI seized Silk Road in September 2013 in tandem with the arrest of its alleged mastermind, Ross Ulbricht, and subsequently set their sights on Mr. Davis, a supposed Silk Road administrator accused of holding a paid position as one of the website’s online administrators, “monitoring user activity on Silk Road for problems, responding to customer service inquiries and resolving disputes between buyers and vendors,” according to prosecutors.

Roger Thomas Clark, a 56-year-old Canadian man also accused of assisting Ulbricht, lost a similar extradition battle earlier this month and received from Thailand to face federal charges.

Ulbricht, 34, was found guilty of related counts in 2015 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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