Other players in the Silk Road drug sales website face justice
Several other players in the Silk Road gun/explosive/drug/body part bazaar have worked their way through the U.S. justice system.
Some info on their involvement and current status follows after mentioning Mr. Ulbricht’s final appeal was denied.
As an aside, the Cyberscoop article below points to the following:
6/28/18 – Reason – Sadly, Ross Ulbrickt’s Case Will Not Be Heard by the Supreme Court – His appeal was denied by the Supreme Court on 6/28/18. That is his last opportunity for an appeal.
Article raises the troublesome procedural question that the sentencing judge used allegations that were not proved in court to reach his decision. Specifically, the judge used allegations of the murder-for-hire schemes which were discussed but on which Mr. Ulbrickt was not convicted, according to his attorney’s comments in the appeal.
Apparently there were some warrant-less searches at issue, which the USSC did not take up.
Andrew Michael Jones, Gary Davis, Peter Phillip Nash
7/13/18 – Cyberscoop – Alleged Silk Road employee extradited from Ireland to U.S. – Gary Davis, allegedly a/k/a Libertas, is accused of being a high level administrator in Silk Road. Article links to previously sealed indictment which accused Andrew Michael Jones, a/k/a “Inigo”, Gary Davis, a/k/a “Libertas” and Peter Phillip Nash, allegedly who had four aliases. (Inigo? Seriously? What is the deal with all the slander of the all-time classic comedy Princess Bride?)
Indictment alleges Mr. Jones and Mr. Davis were administrators while Mr. Nash was allegedly the primary moderator. Mr. Ulbricht, a/k/a “Dread Pirate Roberts”, paid these three a mere $50K to $95K annually for their services according to the indictment.
Indictment contains three counts: narcotics trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy.
9/17/18 – Deep Dot Web – Gary Davis Pleads Not Guilty to Helping to Run Silk Road Market – Mr. Davis was indicted in 2013. Article reports he allegedly handled customer care and managed drug listings at Silk Road. Feds claim he was paid $1,500 a week, which is a $78,000 annual pay rate.
After extradition, Mr. Davis denied all charges when he appeared in court.
Article says Mr. Nash was convicted at trial and earned a life sentence. That appears to be incorrect based on the next article.
Article says Mr. Jones negotiated a plea deal.
5/27/15 (yeah, back in ’15) – Sydney Morning Herald –Silk Road member Peter Nash avoids further US prison time– Mr. Nash was sentenced to time served of 17 months. He cooperated with prosecutors, telling them what he knew. He pled guilty at his arrangement. Article says he was paid a mere $25,000 for his services to Mr. Ulbrickt.
3/13/15 (also from back in ’15) – USA Today – Silk Road forum moderator pleads guilty – At the end of an article about Peter Phillip Nash, comment about Andrew Michael Jones pled guilty in the prior October, which would have been 2014. He agreed to be a witness against Ross Ulbrickt but the government did not call him to testify. As of 12/19/18 the Bureau of Prisons inmate locator systems shows release date unknown, which indicates he still has not been sentenced.
10/5/18 – ArsTechnica – Silk Road admin could face up to 20 years after pleading guilty to drug charge – Mr. Davis changed his plea to guilty on one count, the drug charge (narcotics trafficking conspiracy). Potential sentence is up to 20 years.
Sentencing is set for 1/17/19. That means his release date will be ‘unknown’ with the Bureau of Prisons.
10/5/18 – United States Attorney Office, Department of Justice – Irish Man Who Helped Run the “Silk Road” Website Pleads Guilty in Manhattan Federal Court – Guilty plea to one count, with maximum possible sentence of 20 years.
Here is some background on the case and Mr. Davis’ involvement, which I will quote at length, since the press release is a public document:
According to the allegations in the Superseding Indictment, court filings, statements made in court, and evidence presented during the 2015 trial of Ross Ulbricht, Silk Road’s founder:
From January 2011, up to October 2, 2013, the “Silk Road” website hosted a sprawling black-market bazaar on the Internet, where illegal drugs and other illicit goods and services were regularly bought and sold by the site’s users. During its more than two-and-a-half years in operation, Silk Road was used by several thousand drug dealers and other unlawful vendors to distribute hundreds of kilograms of illegal drugs and other illicit goods and services to well over 100,000 buyers, and to launder hundreds of millions of dollars derived from these unlawful transactions.
The owner and operator of Silk Road, Ross William Ulbricht, a/k/a “Dread Pirate Roberts,” a/k/a “DPR,” a/k/a “Silk Road,” ran the website with the assistance of a small support staff, including both site administrators and forum moderators. The site administrators were responsible for, among other things, monitoring user activity on Silk Road for problems, responding to customer service inquiries, and resolving disputes between buyers and vendors. The forum moderators were responsible for, among other things, monitoring user activity on discussion forums associated with the site, providing guidance to forum users concerning how to conduct business on Silk Road, and reporting any significant problems discussed on the forums to the site administrators and to Ulbricht.
From May 2013 up to June 2013, DAVIS served as a forum moderator for Silk Road. From June 2013 up to October 2, 2013, DAVIS worked as a site administrator on Silk Road. In his role as a site administrator, DAVIS’s responsibilities included (1) responding to customer support requests from Silk Road users who needed assistance with their buyer or seller accounts on the marketplace; (2) serving as an arbitrator by resolving disputes that arose between drug dealers and buyers on the site; and (3) enforcing the rules for doing business on Silk Road, which had been set by Ulbricht. For instance, there was a rule against “out of escrow” sales—i.e., sellers and buyers arranging payments off the site to avoid paying Silk Road commissions. When violations of this rule were discovered, DAVIS could terminate the vendor’s account, demote the vendor, or otherwise restrict the vendor’s privileges, and he typically reported such incidents to Ulbricht. DAVIS was paid a weekly salary for his work as a site administrator.
Where are they now
Bureau of Prisons’ inmate locator service provides this info:
- Andrew Michael Jones, a/k/a “Inigo” – register number 83656-083, age 29, release date unknown (9/17/18 article says he negotiated a plea deal), held at New York MCC. Pled guilty in October 2014.
- Gary Davis, a/k/a “Libertas” – there are 4 Gary Davis listings for person in custody with posted release dates, 38 released from custody with posted dates, and 4 Gary Davis with ‘unknown’ release dates. Of those four, one is not in custody, two are held at New York MCC and one is held at Brooklyn MDC. Pled guilty in October 2018. Until sentencing scheduled for 1/17/19, I won’t be able to tell which is the Gary Davis of Silk Road infamy.
- Peter Phillip Nash; listed at BoP with one “L” in middle name – register number 92226-054, age 45, released on 5/28/15, which corresponds nicely with the day after he was sentenced to time served per article above.
At some later time I’ll follow up on the sentencing and release dates for Mr. Jones and Mr. Davis.