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Tyneside Organised Crime Group Members Jailed for Running a Global Drug Operation on the Dark Web

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ByHarper Stewart

Apr 13, 2023
Tyneside Organised Crime Group
Harper Stewart
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Uncovered: A criminal gang that was imitating the heroes of Breaking Bad has been caught for selling narcotics worth £800k on the Dark Web.

Five university students were convicted of selling illicit substances with a value exceeding £800,000 on the Dark Web and were each sentenced to a maximum of 15 years. Prior to their arrest by the FBI and DEA, the criminal gang had been living a luxurious lifestyle, flaunting their wealth on social media while drinking Veuve Clicquot Rosé Champagne and going on vacations to destinations like the Bahamas, Amsterdam, and Jamaica”.

The two gang members were caught in their apartment located in Manchester on the same day that the FBI closed Silk Road in October 2013. At one point, the gang was named ‘Drug Dealer of the Year’ on the Silk Road website. Police discovered a number of laptops with access to the Dark Web, a baseball bat near the front door, a large amount of cash in British pounds, and various illicit substances such as LSD, ecstasy, ketamine, and diazepam as evidence.

What did the court say?

Michael Leeming, the judge, reported:

“The 5 clever and friendly students have been running a shop for dealing narcotics on the Dark Web marketplace called Silk Road.”

The court was told that the gang had been selling drugs to other students who were struggling with addiction. They made the decision to use Bitcoin to expand their business, peddling ecstasy, LSD, and ketamine throughout Europe, the US, Australia, and New Zealand. As a result, between May 2011 and October 2013, the criminal gang completed more than 6,300 transactions with customers worldwide, selling 16.7kg of ecstasy worth $750,000, 1.23kg of 2CB, and 1.46kg of ketamine.

Judge Leeming added that due to the seriousness of these crimes, only lengthy sentences, and immediate detention, should be considered. Basil Assaf, James Roden, Patel, Elliot Hyams, and Joshua Morgan were each sentenced to 15, 12, 11, 11, and 7 years, respectively.

Tyneside Organised Crime Group Members

What’s the connection to Breaking Bad?

Walter White, the chemistry teacher from the TV show “Breaking Bad” who became a crystal meth dealer, was depicted on a photo of a flask that was found on a gang member’s phone. The court later heard that it was actually a “running joke” among the convicts.

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Harper Stewart

With a deep understanding of the complexities of the Dark Web, Harper curates informative and thought-provoking content for our readers. Her knowledge of the hidden corners of the internet and cybersecurity helps shed light on the often mysterious and illicit activities that take place in this realm.