Instead of selling drugs in a conventional manner, a recently arrested York man took to the dark web to sell sophisticated drugs, which has led to the death of at least three different people.
The accused has been found guilty and was jailed after a thorough investigation.
Ross Brennan, aged 28, is the culprit behind the drug-manufacturing and selling operation. He ran the business with a friend from college named Aarron Gledhill, aged 30, and sold powerful A Class drugs to unsuspecting buyers on the dark web.
The North Yorkshire Police press release announcing the indictment of the pair confirmed that these drugs are 100 times more powerful than heroin and when consumed, they could easily prove fatal for 1 in 10 because of their chemical combination.
Dark Web and Bitcoins Become the Inseparable Pair
As with many stories hitting the headlines over the past few months, the transactions were done using the popular virtual cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
Brennan, who manufactured the deadly drug named fentanyl, chose to list his product on the now-defunct dark web marketplace AlphaBay.
Selling such goods over the web is considered illegal and recently, the AlphaBay marketplace was seized by law enforcement after a longstanding investigation into the site’s operations. AlphaBay’s founder, Alexandre Cazes, was arrested and later died of suspected suicide in his jail cell.
Throughout his tenure as an illegal drug dealer on AlphaBay, Brennan made close to £275,000 and £1.5 million. The entire sum was received in Bitcoins and shared between the two partners.
The reports suggest they spent it lavishly on gold, watches, more drugs and prostitutes to enjoy their newfound luxury.
Fentanyl Often Sold on the Dark Web
Fentanyl has all the attributes associated with any common opioid drug like heroin. When regularly used, it could make people increasingly more addicted as its chemical combination can be 100 times stronger than a typical dosage of heroin.
It is a synthetic opioid painkiller prescribed by doctors as a temporary relief. The drug is applied in a very low dosage in the form of a patch or a lollipop.
Given the growing popularity, it is commonly found for sale on dark web marketplaces.
Considering the powerful capabilities of this drug, Brennan should have never sold the items in such large quantities to customers on the dark web.
But, nevertheless, he did so anyway. And he didn’t stop selling the goods even after some of his buyers had been found dead.
There is no real evidence to confirm whether the people actually died because of consuming the fentanyl sold by Brennan.
Police Shocked by the Sheer Amount of Drugs Sold
The North Yorkshire Police was surprised by how such small-timers could pull of a move like this and make huge sums of money within a short period on the dark web.
The surprise factor is because of the fact that they retrieved a ‘Chemistry for Dummies’ book along with a couple of packing materials, a microscope, a mixing machine and bags of cutting powder from their homes.
Court Opines Online Crime is on the Rise
When Brennan and Gledhill were produced in the court, the latter claimed that he was exploited by his friend to receive the packages over the dark web operation.
In their report, the North Yorkshire police claimed the quantities of fentanyl and crystal meth distributed by the two menare of a size the department had never seen before.
Judge Stubbs, who presided over the case, jailed Brennan for 13 years and eight months while Gledhill, who pleaded guilty, was imprisoned for three years and nine months.
Brennan will also be monitored for five years after his release, and will not be permitted to use mobile phones or computers under the serious crime prevention order.