Gary Davis Pleads not Guilty to Helping to Run Silk Road Market
Gary Davis has pleaded not guilty to charges related to helping Ross Ulbricht run the infamous Silk Road market. According to a report made public, Davis also pleaded not guilty to multiple charges. These included conspiracy charges to distribute narcotics, to commit computer hacking and to commit money laundering. According to an indictment filed against him in 2013 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, he assisted Ross Ulbricht to run a drug trade worth millions of dollars at the time. Due to bitcoin increases over the last couple years, that dollar amount is potentially multiple millions more.
It has been alleged that Davis was aware of the implications of his decision to offer a helping hand to the Silk Road founder. He offered services on the website for a while before he officially became part of the team. His alleged tale of illegal activities was unfolded when authorities arrested the architect of the website, Ross Ulbricht. Authorities then discovered scanned IDs of three accomplices on his laptop, of which two have already pleaded guilty to the charges.
A further search revealed that Davis had received a series of $1,500 payments from Ulbricht weekly. It was then brought to light that Davis worked as a customer care agent on the website; handling queries from customers. He was also responsible for the listing of drugs on the website.
In spite of these small time jobs, he is now only recognized as a central figure of the Silk Road market having operated as an administrator according to the court document. Also, authorities discovered messages sent by Davis under the pseudonym “Libertas”, which establishes that he was aware of the illegalities carried out on the website.
Together with the other accomplices, he facilitated the sale of over $200 million illegal drugs and other substances. Their operation was seen as a partial contribution of the higher drug overdose death rates in the United States.
After his arrest, Davis made attempts to block his extradition to the United States by going through the established legal procedure; however, none of his attempts were successful. The court found no legal ground to honor his request, as his Asperger’s syndrome was found not to be risky enough. In March 2018, the Irish court of appeals also dismissed his extradition appeal, and the most recent one which was basically his last chance also ended without a positive outcome.
His main point of argument of seeking extradition was that his health condition would not be properly taken care of when sent to the United States of America.
Davis was finally taken to a US court where he denied all charges leveled against him. He stated emphatically that he is a victim of mistaken identity. He said that the discovery of his scanned ID on Ulbricht’s computer is something he knows nothing about.
It is worth noting that the two other accomplices whose scanned IDs were found on Ulbricht’s computer have since been found guilty or taken a plea deal. Peter Nash from Australia was sentenced to life imprisonment after spending 17 months awaiting trial the resulted in his fate. Andrew Michael Jones from Virginia took a plea deal, so this and Nash put Davis in an awkward position of having no precedent to dismiss.
A further search into Ulbricht’s case led to the discovery of a passport copy of Thomas Clarke, a 55-year-old Canadian born who was extradited from Thailand. This made the State’s Attorney office issue a letter to the judges presiding over Davis case about the connection between the two. When authorities opened Clarke’s laptop, they realized that it was locked and encrypted. A pre-trial submission has been arraigned for the two.
Ulbricht was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole, and many attempts have been made by his loved ones to get a reasonable sentence for him. In a bid to do this, a series of campaigns have been conducted mostly online to call on authorities to reconsider his case as it has been stated that justice was tempered in his investigation and trial.
Davis has not been sentenced yet and his fate depends on the outcome of the upcoming court procedures. Authorities have shown that Davis would not be spared if found guilty of the charges against him. He may be handed a life sentence if found guilty.