Drug traffickers operating on dark web were sentenced to 40 years in jail

The gang managed to generate revenues of more than £150k in a year of activity

Three drug traffickers working on dark web were sentenced to just over 43 years in prison for distributing fentanyl, a powerful opioid, to hundreds of consumers around the world, report network security and ethical hacking specialists from the International Institute of Cyber Security.

Jake Levene (22), Lee Childs, (45), and Mandy Christopher Lowther (21), were sentenced last week in the court of Leeds, United Kingdom, after pleading guilty to exporting and supplying class A drugs.

The traffickers stored the fentanyl with the complicity of cargo agents in an industrial unit in Leeds before putting it on sale at sites like Alpha Bay under the pseudonym ‘UKBargins’, as reported by experts in network security of the National Crime Agency (NCA).

According to network security specialists, it is still unclear how criminals were caught, although it is known that they were arrested in April 2017, a couple of months after the authorities shut down sites like Alpha Bay and Hansa. When the police searched the industrial unit where the criminals operated, the laptop was found from where the gang managed its store in Alpha Bay.

It appears that Childs was caught by the CCTV of a post office while sending hundreds of opioid packets to his hundreds of customers around the world, making shipments to places as far away as Australia, Singapore, or Argentina.

According to UK police estimates, traffickers would have sent about 2853 packages to 443 customers around the world, generating gains of about £163.5k.

During the raid, 2.6 kg of fentanyl were recovered, including a package of 440 grams of pure fentanyl, the largest seizure of its kind in Europe, according to the British authorities. It is said that the drug is about 10k times more potent than morphine, while fentanyl is up to 10 times stronger. Countless deaths related to these substances have been reported around the world in recent years.

“The long prison sentences that have been established for these individuals should generate reflection on the risks of enrolling in this kind of activities,” the British authorities mentioned.