- The Washington Times - Friday, June 15, 2018

Roger Thomas Clark, a Canadian man accused of helping run the groundbreaking Silk Road online drug bazaar shuttered by the FBI in 2013, has been extradited to the United States more than 2.5 years after being arrested in Thailand, the Department of Justice announced Friday.

The Justice Department said in a statement that Mr. Clark, 56, was extradited to the U.S. on Friday in tandem with the unsealing of a criminal indictment charging him with six counts related to his alleged involvement in the defunct dark web marketplace.

Using aliases including “Variety Jones” and “Plural of Mongoose,” Mr. Clark allegedly acted as a trusted confidant to Silk Road administrator Ross Ulbricht during his course of operating a website responsible for facilitating hundreds of millions of dollars worth of illegal drug deals, according to federal prosecutors.

Mr. Clark allegedly helped keep Silk Road afloat by helping Ulbricht with “all aspects” of its operations, ranging from finding computer programmers to maintain its infrastructure, to drafting rules for vendors and merchants, the Justice Department said in a statement.

“As Ulbricht’s right-hand man, Roger Clark allegedly advised him of methods to thwart law enforcement during the operation of this illegal ploy, pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process,” FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said. “Today’s extradition of Roger Clark shows that despite alleged attempts to operate under the radar, he was never out of our reach.”

The Justice Department previously announced that Mr. Clark was arrested in Thailand in December 2015, spurring the extradition battle that ended with him being slated to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein on Friday.

“Guilt is a technical term,” Mr. Clark said during a 2016 prison interview. “They don’t have [expletive] on me.”

Prosecutors have charged Mr. Clark with crimes related to Silk Road including narcotics trafficking conspiracy, narcotics trafficking, distributing narcotics by means of the internet and money laundering conspiracy, among other charges. He faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment if convicted.

Ulbricht was found guilty in 2015 of seven Silk Road related-charges and was subsequently sentenced to life behind bars.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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