BANGKOK, Thailand -- U.S. officials announced the arrest of Roger
Clark in Thailand for extradition to New York for alleged narcotics
and money laundering conspiracies when he worked at Silk Road, "a
secret online marketplace for illegal drugs, hacking services, and a
whole host of other criminal activity."

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Internal Revenue Service
(IRS) along with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Department
of Homeland Security (DHS) and others led Thai police to arrest Clark
on December 3.

They nabbed Clark where he was residing on Thailand's touristy
tropical island of Koh Chang near the Cambodian border, according to
the Justice Department's announcement on December 4 which included
investigators' statements.

"Clark may have thought residing in Thailand would keep him out of
reach of U.S. authorities, but our international partnerships have
proven him wrong," FBI Assistant Director Diego Rodriguez said.

Clark, a Canadian, was being held in Thailand pending extradition to
Manhattan, the Justice Department's New York Attorney's Office said.

Clark "is charged with one count of narcotics conspiracy which carries
a maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence
of 10 years, and one count of money laundering conspiracy which
carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison," the department

Before being shut down by U.S. authorities in 2013, "Silk Road was
used by thousands of drug dealers and other unlawful vendors to
distribute hundreds of kilograms of illegal drugs and other unlawful
goods and services to well over a hundred thousand buyers, and to
launder hundreds of millions of dollars deriving from these unlawful
transactions," the Justice Department said.

"Clark was paid at least hundreds of thousands of dollars for his
assistance in operating Silk Road," it said.

Clark's arrest was a hot topic among Internet's computer-savvy experts
at,, and others who have been
tracking his case.

In 2013, Silk Road's owner and operator Ross Ulbricht was busted in a
public library in San Francisco, California while using a laptop
computer which was later inspected by law enforcement agents.

They retrieved extensive evidence about Ulbricht's alleged Silk Road
colleagues plus his personal diary and online chat interactions with
someone purportedly using multiple pseudonyms.

At that time, investigators did not know Clark's real name because he
allegedly "went by the online nicknames 'Variety Jones,' 'VJ,'
'Cimon,' and 'Plural of Mongoose'," the Justice Department said.

Gary L. Alford, an IRS Special Agent assigned to the New York
Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force, also inspected
Ulbricht's files.

"Based on my review of chat logs between Ulbricht and various
co-conspirators, I know that Ulbricht required staff members to
provide a scanned copy of personal identification documents" to
confirm their true identity, Alford wrote in a sworn statement on
April 21 which the Justice Department unsealed on December 4.

Ulbricht allegedly encrypted and saved the scanned identification files.

"I have reviewed the contents of a decrypted version of the image file
entitled 'cimon.jpg,' which contains a [scanned] passport issued by
Canada for Roger Thomas Clark, lists his date of birth as September
13, 1961, and indicates that it was issued in the United Kingdom,"
Alford said.

"A cooperating witness advised law enforcement...that 'Roger Clark' is
the individual who used the online nicknames 'Variety Jones' [and]
'VJ'," Alford said.

That witness had been "charged with federal crimes for his
participation and involvement with Silk Road" and was hoping for
"leniency" when sentenced, the IRS agent said.

Ulbricht's digital "chat logs" included "multiple references" to Clark
"living in Thailand" from September 2012 to February 2013, Alford

Alford himself was "involved in undercover purchases of narcotics from
the [Silk Road] website through an undercover account, which were
ordered to and received in the Southern District of New York," he

Clark and others "conspired to means of the Internet,"
heroin, cocaine, LSD, methamphetamine and other illegal substances,
and also launder money from "narcotics trafficking," Alford wrote
while asking New York Southern District Magistrate Judge Ronald L.
Ellis to issue an arrest warrant for Clark.

Silk Road's website "openly advertised" illegal drugs "listed under
the categories: 'Cannabis,' 'Dissociatives,' 'Ecstasy,' 'Intoxicants,'
'Opioids,' 'Precursors,' 'Prescription,' 'Psychedelics," and
'Stimulants,' among others," Alford said.

Silk Road used a so-called digital "Onion Router" or "Tor" network to
conceal online activity, and all financial transactions were paid with
secretive, electronic "Bitcoin" currency, he said.

Alford quoted Ulbricht's chat files which allegedly described Clark as
an impressive geek who helped Silk Road block cyber attacks, improve
services, avoid authorities, invent deceptive cover stories, manage
multiple pseudonyms, require more encryption, and promote drug sales.

Clark and Ulbricht allegedly arranged a "grand prize winner" of a big
Silk Road drug sale to be "awarded in an all-inclusive paid trip to
Thailand, including approximately $4,000...spending money," Alford

The trip allegedly cost Silk Road a total of $30,000 but Clark
expressed worry because the winner was a heroin addict.

Clark "expressed concern that the upcoming trip to Thailand --
scheduled for mid-July 2012 -- might be problematic, stating: 'I'm
just worried that it's not the kinda place you wanna get caught trying
to score H [heroin], or possessing it'.

"Ulbricht responded: 'shoulda thought more carefully about dropping
$4k on an addict...maybe our next prize will be 3 months in rehab',"
Alford quoted Ulbricht's chat files as saying.

"Ha, dude, we're criminal drug dealers," Clark later allegedly wrote
to Ulbricht in October 2012, according to Alford.

"Anonymity is what Roger Thomas Clark believed he attained posing as
'Variety Jones' while allegedly committing crimes -- but handcuffed
and pending extradition is not anonymity," DEA Special Agent in Charge
James J. Hunt said.

"Although the conviction of Ross Ulbricht effectively brought an end
to the operation of the Silk Road site, this complaint represents
another step in bringing full closure to the investigation of this
criminal enterprise," said IRS Special Agent Shantelle P. Kitchen.

The Department of Justice's International Affairs Office's Complex
Frauds and Cybercrime Unit is prosecuting Clark's case, the department