Silk Road’s Roger Thomas Clark plead guilty on the charges of conspiring to distribute massive quantities of narcotics
According to prosecutors who claimed on Thursday, Roger Thomas Clark, an alleged operator behind the Silk Road darknet market and adviser to founder Ross Ulbricht, pleaded guilty to “conspiracy to distribute large quantities of drugs.”
Roger Thomas Clark. Image via allthingsvice
On Thursday, Clark entered the plea in Manhattan federal court. The Department of Justice announced later, more than six years since the FBI closed the Silk Road and more than four years after Clark’s arrest abroad.
The US attorney’s office for southern New York county said in a press release that Clark, known online as “Plural of Mongoose”, “Variety Jones”, “VJ” and “cimon”, plead guilty to a conspiracy. And he will be sentenced on May 29.
Clark was first charged with traffic drug conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy in 2015. Prosecutors described him as a “senior adviser” to the platform at the time.
He advised Ulbricht on various issues, from security vulnerabilities on the website, technical infrastructure, sales promotion, to rules governing buyers and sellers.
Clark was paid at least hundreds of thousands of dollars for his assistance in running Silk Road. Despite being charged with a number of offenses, Clark has committed only one crime of conspiracy to distribute drugs. The indictment carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Silk Road is most popular for being a darknet marketplace
Launched on the dark web in early 2011, Silk Road served a store that bought and sold illegal drugs and other counterfeit goods using digital currencies before they were brought offline in late 2013.
The Justice Department says the site serves more than 100,000 customers and thus facilitates hundreds of millions of dollars in drug deals and other illegal transactions.
Clark, 56, was arrested about two years later in Bangkok, Thailand, where he stayed behind bars for more than 2.5 years before being extradited to the United States in June 2018. Prosecutors were charged Clark with six offenses, including drug trafficking and conspiracy to commit money laundering, among others, putting him at risk of living behind bars.
Ulbricht, 35, was arrested in San Francisco at the end of 2013. He was later convicted of several crimes relating to Silk Road and was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
Ulbricht and Clark were both charged with facilitating “the attempted killing of a co-conspirator”, although neither was charged in connection with this charge.
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