Advertisement
Motherboard

US Government Piles New Charges on Variety Jones Suspect

Some of the charges reflect those Ross Ulbricht was ultimately convicted of

by Joseph Cox
Dec 19 2015, 9:59pm

Photo: Shutterstock.

Things have just got a lot worse for the man suspected of being a key player behind Silk Road.

On Friday, an amended complaint was filed against Roger Thomas Clark, who is allegedly "Variety Jones." Variety Jones was Silk Road's financial advisor, in-house penetration tester, and in the words of Ross Ulbricht, the site's convicted creator, a "mentor."

The complaint comes with a fresh set of serious charges, including narcotics trafficking, distribution of narcotics by means of the internet, conspiracy to commit and aid and abet computer hacking, and conspiracy to traffic in fraudulent identification documents. Those new allegations are on top of the previous charges of narcotics trafficking conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, and one count of money laundering conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

These bring Clark's charges more closely in-line with those of Ulbricht. Ulbricht was charged, and ultimately convicted of—amongst other things—narcotics trafficking, distribution of narcotics by means of the internet, a computer hacking related charge, as well as conspiracy to traffic in fraudulent identification documents.

Judging by the new accusations, the US government feels that Clark played an important role in Silk Road; one that would justify bringing up charges that mirror many of those Ulbricht faced.

Clark was arrested on December 3 in Thailand, according to a US Attorney's Office press release.

"As this arrest proves, the 'long arm of the law' has a great reach—even in cyberspace," said James M. Gibbons, a Homeland Security Investigations Chicago special agent who worked on the investigation in the release.

Clark is currently awaiting extradition to the United States. His spokesperson previously told Motherboard that Clark "wants to fight" the extradition.

In conversations with me and posts on public forums, Clark said he wanted to hand himself in to US authorities.

Clark's spokesperson and the Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.