Irish court orders accused Silk Road admin's extradition to US

Gary Davis allegedly played a key role in the digital black market.

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Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images
Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Silk Road's saga hasn't ended just because some of its primary architects are behind bars. An Irish court has ordered the extradition of Gary Davis, an alleged key administrator for the Dark Web-based black market, to the US. Davis reportedly both handled customer questions and organized Silk Road's many items (including drugs and hacking tools) into sections. He's poised to appeal the ruling, and for good reason: he could face a life sentence if the US convicts him.

His lawyers tried numerous strategies to fight the extradition request. They claim that the American charges are vague, and that the request isn't clear. He should have been charged with corresponding Irish crimes, the attorneys argued. Davis' defense also said that he's affected by Asperger's Syndrome and might suffer if sent to an isolating section of a New York City prison. As you might guess, the court rejected these notions -- it doesn't see evidence that Davis would be isolated, for example.

If Davis is convicted, the prison term will show that the US is determined to tie up every loose end of the original Silk Road. Don't expect it to deter others, however. Research shows that digital black market activity has exploded since Silk Road's shutdown in 2013, with three times the activity and twice the revenue. Stamping out one site didn't necessarily create the added demand, but law enforcement may need to focus more on shutting down sites on a basic level than holding everyone to account.

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