- Family says hacker sent fake North Korean missile warning through Nest camera 3 Years Ago
- This Arizona bill would tax internet porn to fund a border wall 3 Years Ago
- This meme is asking people how they draw the letter X Today 1:18 PM
- Charlie Kirk’s love of U.S. healthcare system put to the test after back problems Today 1:12 PM
- Fyre Fest caterer who was left broke has received $160,000 in donations Today 12:58 PM
- The YouTuber who taught a dog to give the Nazi salute on command can’t find a job Today 12:24 PM
- The ‘oh yeah yeah’ meme is flooding YouTube—and KSI can’t deal Today 12:20 PM
- Did this d*ck-drawing Instagram star steal her gag from a rival runner? Today 12:00 PM
- Rep. Steve King, best known for his racism, tweets a fake MLK quote Today 11:54 AM
- Facebook is helping husbands ‘brainwash’ their wives with targeted ads Today 11:35 AM
- Twitch streamer Pink_Sparkles responds to gamers who don’t think she belongs Today 11:29 AM
- ‘Black Panther’ nabs 7 Oscar nominations, including best picture Today 10:49 AM
- Somehow Kamala Harris will have to run for president without Bill O’Reilly’s endorsement Today 10:15 AM
- Resident Evil 2 brings old-school zombie horror back to life Today 10:00 AM
- Why Culttture came to the defense of the MAGA teens—and what it has planned next Today 9:34 AM
Law enforcement says he’s 54-year-old Canada native Roger Thomas Clark.
A coalition of U.S. law enforcement—including the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the IRS’s Criminal Investigation Unit—arrested the man, Canadian Roger Thomas Clark, in Thailand Thursday.
Clark, 54, is charged with one count of narcotics conspiracy, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, and could extend to life. He also faces one count of money laundering conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. Silk Road’s founder, Ross Ulbricht, was sentenced to life in prison in May.
It was never a secret that the persona of Variety Jones was a key player in the Silk Road. According to Ulbricht’s own diaries, Jones was utterly instrumental in bringing the site from a small operation to a major drug marketplace. Ulbricht called him a “mentor” and Jones helped with everything from online security to background on the drug trade. As reported by Wired’s Andy Greenberg, the idea that Ulbricht wanted to hire hitmen to kill his rivals—something Ulbricht never actually stood trial for—originally came from Jones.
According to the testimony of IRS Special Agent Gary Alford, Clark was, like many arrested for Internet crimes, easily identified by chatlogs saved on a computer confiscated by the police. Various chats indicate that several online personas, “Cimon” and “Plural of Mongoose,” were the same person as Variety Jones, who also had once run a U.K. company called Gypsy Nirvana.
Ulbricht ran the Silk Road as a business, and required employees, including Variety Jones, to submit their real identification. One file, cimon.jpg, was Clark’s passport. Moreover, U.K. corporate filings show that Gypsy Nirvana Limited was registered to Clark.
Even without Ulbricht’s computer, it’s likely law enforcement would have eventually reached the same conclusion. In September, reporter Joseph Cox, who also contributes to the Daily Dot, published an investigation linking Clark to the Variety Jones persona, and placing him on Koh Chang, an island in Thailand popular with tourists.
Clark’s extradition to the U.S. to face his charges is now pending.
Illustration by Max Fleishman
A former senior politics reporter for the Daily Dot, Kevin Collier focuses on privacy, cybersecurity, and issues of importance to the open internet. Since leaving the Daily Dot in March 2016, he has served as a reporter for Vocativ and a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed.