The accused is said to have played confidante and Chief advisor to the then owner of Silk Road market, Ross Ulbricht.
Jukebox 8 Feb 2020 1
Roger Thomas Clark, the senior advisor to administrator and operator of the Silk Road dark web marketplace has pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, in his position as adviser to owner of the market, Ross Ulbricht.
Popularly addressed as “Variety Jones", "Plural of Mongoose", "Captain Sargeant” amongst other nicknames, the 56-year old Canadian citizen played a pivotal role in the daily running of the site and was equally remunerated for his service.
Addressed by Ulbricht as a “real mentor”, Clark was behind a large number of major decisions that were taken by ownership of Silk Road right up until its demise and shut down by law enforcement, and also provide administrative assistance on the site; even hiring programmers to aid the effective running of the site and keeping tracks on law enforcement to alert them of any possible investigations.
Pictured is an image of Clark in prison in 2018
Since its inception in 2011, the now defunct website was known for the sale and distribution of illegal drugs, arms and the like and housed some of the dark web’s most undesirables; criminals that served the purpose of providing criminal services to the cyber underworld until it was shut down in 2013.
Geoffrey S. Berman of the US Attorney's Office announced this plea and said,
Silk Road was a secret online marketplace for illegal drugs, hacking services, and a whole host of criminal activity. As he admitted today, Roger Thomas Clark was a central figure in helping to lead Silk Road and in advocating violence to protect the site.
Clark even went so far as to urge, and facilitate, the attempted killing co-conspirator suspected of stealing from Silk Road. Clark’s arrest, extradition from Thailand, and conviction should make it clear that the purported anonymity of the dark web is not a protective shield from prosecution.
This caution does not need to be taken lightly, as law enforcement has gotten equally creative to identify and implicate dark web users who participate in criminal activities.
Clark will be brought before Judge Pauley for sentencing scheduled for 29th May, later on this year. He faces a 20-year sentence but is likely to get less after sentencing guidelines are applied.