The High Court has ordered the extradition to the United States of a Wicklow man alleged to have been an administrator of the Silk Road website that dealt with illegal drugs and hacking software.
Gary Davis, 27, of Johnstown Court in Kilpedder is wanted by US authorities on charges of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, conspiracy to commit computer hacking and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
In a detailed judgment, Mr Justice Paul McDermott ruled that Mr Davis be surrendered to the US.
The judge rejected all grounds of Mr Davis's opposition to the request including that his Constitutional rights and rights under the European Convention on Human Rights would be breached.
After the verdict Mr Davis embraced friends and family in the court. He was remanded in custody to Cloverhill Prison and can apply for bail in the event of an appeal being lodged.
Mr Davis, who claims he has Asperger's Syndrome and depression, had opposed the request. Among his points of objection, he said that if extradited he will be detained in an inhuman and degrading manner.
If convicted in the US Mr Davis could receive a life sentence.
Mr Davis also claimed the extradition request was flawed, lacked clarity and the details of the charges against him were vague.
It was also argued Mr Davis should have been charged with corresponding offences he is accused of by the US in Ireland.
In his judgment, Judge McDermott said the central issue in the case was the objections to the request based on Mr Davis's health.
The judge said the evidence before the court did not establish the high threshold of ill health and risk to life required to justify a refusal to extradite him.
He said it was not the law that a person suffering from health conditions could not be imprisoned in Ireland or extradited to another country simply because imprisonment would give rise to changes in environment or disturbance in routine or removal from family.
Persons suffering from Asperger's Syndrome could be tried and sentenced for a criminal offence in Ireland and the courts had imposed sentences on elderly persons, young people with serious psychological or addiction problems and people who were otherwise ill.
Judge McDermott said Mr Davis had argued that if surrendered to the US he would not be able to cope because he has Asperger's, depression and severe anxiety. He had claimed he would commit suicide in those circumstances.
The judge said this assertion was something that must be regarded as "a manifestation of Mr Davis's illness" which may be taken into account should he receive a custodial sentence. It was not something that could stop a trial, and needed to be managed by prison authorities.
Judge McDermott said he was not satisfied that there were substantial grounds for believing that Mr Davis would be exposed to inhuman and degrading treatment while detained in the US prison system.
The court was satisfied that the US authorities would act to protect Mr Davis's mental and physical well being and take appropriate steps to address any symptoms of depression and anxiety. He would be accommodated as a person with Asperger's Syndrome within the prison system.
The Judge also expressed his concern that Mr Davis was not in receipt of any ongoing medical provision or treatment for depression and that he had failed to engage with people who could provide therapy.
The Silk Road, which was shut down by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2013, was an underground website that hosted a "sprawling black market bazaar" on the internet.
Mr Davis is accused of acting as a site administrator on the Silk Road website using the name 'Libertas'. It was launched in 2011. It was created and run by American Ross William Ulbricht under the pseudonym 'Dread Pirate Roberts' (DPR).
Ulbricht had been charged and subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment. The site offered anonymity to its users, where trades were conducted in the online currency bitcoins.
The US authorities claim between June 2013 and October 2013 Mr Davis was a site administrator of the Silk Road website and had an "explicit knowledge of the items for sale on the website".
The drugs available on the site included heroin, LSD, cocaine and amphetamines.
It was claimed that as part of his role, Mr Davis dealt with queries from the site users, and had re-organised into different categories certain items that could be purchased on the website.