US prosecutors have unsealed charges against who they believe is a former high-ranking employee of the Silk Road, the now-defunct online dark marketplace.
Roger Thomas Clark was charged with conspiracy to traffic narcotics and conspiracy to launder money. He was arrested in Thailand on 3rd December, according to US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which characterized Clark as a “senior advisor” to the site who operated under the alias “Variety Jones”, among others.
The charges were originally filed under seal on 21st April, according to the filing. The government alleged that Clark provided material support to Silk Road operator Ross Ulbricht and the site, assistance that including hiring programmers, promoting sales and offering operational advice. The Silk Road was taken offline in October 2013.
Clark has been tied to the aliases Variety Jones and “Cimon”, both of which are included in the unsealed indictment along with “VJ” and “Plural of Mongoose”. WIRED’s Andy Greenberg wrote earlier this year that Variety Jones was deeply involved in the management of the site and acted as a sort of mentor to Ulbricht on various matters, based on evidence gleaned by journals kept by the dark market operator.
The arrest and unsealing of charges comes months after Variety Jones, whose identity was linked to the names Roger or Thomas Clark during an investigation by Motherboard, alleged that a rogue federal agent was seeking to blackmail Ulbricht. Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison earlier this year.
Reports of Clark’s arrest surfaced earlier today, when the website for the alternative cryptocurrency Rimbit posted screenshots of an extradition request said to be sourced from Clark’s legal representation. The letter was addressed to Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the local US Embassy.
In a press release, the US Attorney’s Office said that Clark’s extradition is pending.
The full unsealed complaint can be found below:
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