The dark web is a rabbit hole for selling illegal materials. The markets are full of vendors who offer fake IDs, prescriptions for illegal substances, and much more. However, it is not common for the authorities to prosecute the actual crimes as the criminals manage to hide themselves very well.
This was not the case for the gang who were caught for selling fake prescriptions for drugs online. In their advertisements, substances such as Xanax (a highly addictive and dangerous drug if overdosed) and other benzodiazepines could be seen.
The total revenue that the gang made by selling illegal stuff through the web is believed to be more than £20 million. These funds bought the gang members a luxury lifestyle, including champagne worth up to £1,000.
It seems like the criminals were big fans of expensive alcohol as they purchased such brands as Dom Perignon, Marc Ward, Bollinger, Cristal, Christopher Kirkby, and others. Needless to say, where all that money came from.
One of the members, Kirkby, captured a photo of himself smoking a cigar and then posted it on Instagram with the quote “Living like a gangster!” Additionally, the gang enjoyed showing off their champagne online.
Using the nickname “HulkedBenzoBoss,” the criminal Ward distributed fake medications that could lead to serious addiction if abused. Even though they can only be bought with a prescription in the UK, they are legal in the United States.
Ward was arrested following an investigation by Pfizer Global Security and test transactions, which caused the involvement of the police in January 2017. Investigators claim that while using the alias “HulkedBenzoBoss,” Ward supplied at least 22,843 deals of fake Xanax tablets and other class C substances and bought over £2,157,700 worth of Bitcoin from Darknet exchanges.
In June 2017, police in Havant arrested him for allegedly supplying a class C controlled substance and money laundering. Investigators found evidence on the site showing his involvement in a larger scheme to produce fake Xanax.
Later in the investigation process, several other gang members were arrested and given prison sentences ranging from five to nine years each. Most of the criminals pleaded guilty and admitted to their crimes. It took five years for the police to solve this case.