Another leader of the infamous drug-trafficking network Silk Road has been captured, as Roger Thomas Clark was arrested last week in Thailand. Clark was reportedly the lead architect of the darknet marketplace. He is currently awaiting extradition to the United States.
On Silk Road, Clark reportedly used the handle “Variety Jones”. He was described as a “mentor” by the network’s former operator Ross Ulbricht. Earlier this year in May, Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Clark is a 54 year old citizen on Canada. He is facing charges relating to narcotics dealing and conspiracy of money laundering. His arrest came after an investigation that suggested that “Variety Jones” and fellow architect “Smed” were shown to be the real driving force behind the operations of Silk Road. Although Ulbricht was the network’s undisputed leader, Variety Jones and Smed essentially kept the network running.
The United States Justice Department said in a statement, “Clark counseled Ulbricht on the improvement and expansion of Silk Road's technical infrastructure, including helping Ulbricht hire and manage a computer programmer to assist with these projects."
Clark also worked to help prevent Ulbricht and other members of the network from being investigated.
The DOJ said, “He repeatedly advocated the use of intimidation and violence to keep members of the Silk Road support staff from cooperating with law enforcement."
During one conversation that took place between Clark and Ulbricht, Clark allegedly said, “Dude, we’re criminal drug dealers. What line shouldn’t we cross?”
Clark was reportedly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for his help in operating Silk Road.
Manhattan Attorney Preet Bharara said, “Like a consigliere, Roger Thomas Clark allegedly served as a trusted confidante to Silk Road founder and operator Ross Ulbricht, advising him on all aspects of this illegal business, including how to maximize profits and use threats of violence to thwart law enforcement."
If convicted Clark will face a minimum sentence of at least 30 years in prison. However, it is more likely that he will spend the rest of his life behind bars.