Silk Road is by far the most controversial story in the entire Bitcoin community.
Therefore, whenever there is any activity that is even remotely associated with Silk Road, people immediately turn their attention towards it.
Such is the case with the unsealing of the charges against a suspected former high ranking employee of the Silk Road. For those of you who are not aware, Silk Road is the most notorious online dark marketplace which has now become defunct.
The person in question is Roger Thomas Clark. He is the alleged Silk Road advisor who is currently under investigation after being charged with conspiracy to traffic narcotics and conspiracy to launder money.
His arrest took place in Thailand on 3rd December in accordance to an official statement released by the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
In that statement, Clark was labelled as the alleged “senior advisor” to the site, which had a number of other employees who have been charged with similar offences and allegations. In Silk Road, Clark operated under the alias “Variety Jones” in addition to a bunch of other aliases.
The charges against Clark were initially filed on 21st April under seal. According to the allegations made by the government, Clark is guilty of providing material support to Silk Road operator Ross Ulbricht and the site itself.
He is also suspected of providing assistance in the form of recruiting programmers, promoting sales and offering operational advice to the chief operators.
Silk Road was taken offline just above two years ago in the October of 2013.
According to WIRED’s Andy Greenberg, Variety Jones was actively involved in the management of the site and served as a mentor or a guide to Ulbricht on a number of different matters.
This information has been gathered from evidence gleaned by journals that were maintained by Silk Road. In a way, you could say that Silk Road was responsible for its own undoing.
Some experts believe that the arrest and unsealing of charges have been a little delayed. This is because the first stream of suspicions had flown in months earlier.
The suspicions arose when Variety Jones, who was linked to the names Thomas Clark and Roger courtesy of an investigation conducted by Motherboard, made an allegation that a rogue federal agent was aiming to blackmail Ulbricht. As for Ulbricht, he was sentenced to life in prison earlier this year.
Clark’s extradition is still pending. A letter has been addressed to Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the local US Embassy. It remains to be seen how willing the Thai government is to cooperate in this regard.
While it is a safe bet to assume that the Thai government will comply with the request for extradition, there are those who believe that the extradition may turn out to be a little more complex than the US government would want it to be.