Gary Davis, an alleged Silk Road admin, will have very few options to avoid harsh sentencing if found guilty after extradition, a U.S. lawyer said.
The 27-year-old Irishman has been fighting an extradition case since 2013 where he and two other men involved in Silk Road administration were indicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, commit computer hacking, and commit money laundering.
A High Court judge ordered Davis to finally surrender himself to the U.S. to stand trial, despite Davis’s defense that he would not receive the proper care required for his Asperger’s syndrome while awaiting trial in the special housing units in the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
He was, however, given 10 days to file a new appeal request to overturn this decision – something that happened on the August 19th. Bail was granted and Davis will have more time to prepare for his potential extradition.
While Davis himself has not indicated how he will plead, he told a psychiatrist in an interview used in his fight against extradition: “I don’t know how they roped me into it,” The Times writes.
The lawyer who defended Peter Nash, one of the three men named in the same indictment as Davis, indicates that Davis is unlikely to avoid a “severe” prison sentence. Being the last of the three men to face charges, if convicted in the U.S., Davis will have little ability to cooperate with police as there is essentially no new information to reveal.
Peter Nash aka SSBD was extradited from Australia and admitted to being a Silk Road moderator. He was sentenced to 17 months in prison. The third man in the indictment, Andrew Jones aka Inigo was facing the same charge as Davis: a role as a Silk Road administrator. Jones admitted to the charges he faced and agreed to be a witness against the site’s founder, Ross Ulbricht, but was never called to testify and is currently under house arrest awaiting sentencing.
Andrew Frisch, Nash’s lawyer, said: “Gary would be the last person here, so if he is convicted he would presumably not have any new information to share on the case. The system is built around cooperation. Prosecutors want people to turn on other people so that they can build further cases. There is a handsome reward for that in terms of sentencing but not everyone is offered it.”
Davis will not be able to offer new information in the case or turn on the two other men who are already in U.S. custody, Frisch mentioned.
“The Southern District of New York has an aggressive prosecutors office and some very severe judges who give some very severe sentences. The very act of seeking extradition in this case is an aggressive act.”
On the Silk Road, Davis went by the ‘Libertas’ pseudonym and was responsible for dealing with requests from vendors and organizing the drugs for sale on the site into categories. Frisch says that this could be seen as a “supervisory” role in drug trafficking and could lead to a longer sentence than Nash.
Nash was able to prove that he was only moderating the forums and had no involvement with the drug sales. Davis will not be able to remove himself from drug related involvement on Silk Road.
“Silk Road is treated as analogous to conventional drug distribution. Ross Ulbricht was sentenced as a kingpin in a distribution operation despite his role not being the same as what the statute intended when it was introduced in the seventies.”
Without knowing the specifics of Davis’s alleged involvement, Frisch was not able to estimate a sentence. However, he did say that any possible plea deal between Davis and the U.S. government would be based on U.S. sentencing guidelines which extend to life sentences for drug charges.
Mr. Frisch concluded: “The prosecution is in no rush, so if Gary is extradited he will be on their schedule. He will be kept in the MCC until a time when they are ready to proceed — that is not a pleasant place.”