Accused adviser to Silk Road creator extradited to United States

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Canadian man accused by U.S. authorities of acting as a senior adviser to the jailed creator of the underground Silk Road website was extradited to the United States from Thailand on Friday, federal prosecutors said.

In a newly unsealed indictment, prosecutors charged Roger Thomas Clark with crimes including narcotics trafficking, computer hacking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. Clark was arrested in Thailand in 2015 at the request of U.S. authorities.

Prosecutors have said Clark was the “right-hand man” of Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht, who is currently serving a life sentence.

Clark, 56, also faces up to life in prison if convicted of the charges, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman.

He appeared at a brief hearing in Manhattan federal court Friday afternoon, where he did not seek bail. His lawyer, Stephanie Carvlin, declined to comment on the charges.

Silk Road, an online black market where illegal drugs and other goods were sold using the cryptocurrency bitcoin, was shut down in October 2013 when authorities seized the website and arrested Ulbricht.

Jurors in February 2015 found Ulbricht, of San Francisco, guilty of seven counts for helping to enable illegal drug sales. He was sentenced three months later by U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest.

Prosecutors said Ulbricht ran Silk Road under the alias Dread Pirate Roberts, a character from the novel popularized by the 1987 movie “The Princess Bride,” and that drugs distributed on the website were linked to at least six overdose deaths.

Clark was described by Ulbricht as a “real mentor” who advised him on how to run the site and avoid law enforcement, according to prosecutors.

Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Tom Brown