Two Scottish darknet drug lords who used the dark web platforms for supplying a significant quantity of narcotics have been put behind bars. The duo had supplied major class A drugs and ran a supply operation. They have been put in Scottish first.
The darknet drug lords have been identified as Scott Roddie, aged 29 years and Connor Holmes, aged 24 years. They had internationally sent drugs worth £1.3m following the orders placed by their customers while the customers had cleared the bill using cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC).
Scot Roddie has received imprisonment for more than six years (75 months) for the cryptocurrency-based drug operation. He had run a distribution depot for narcotics like cocaine, ecstasy and heroin from a flat’s locked room in Aberdeen that he paid a bulk rent on.
The darknet drug lords had been taken into custody in 2018 when the Border Police Officers had intercepted two packages From the Netherlands containing 8.2kgs of ecstasy worth over £680,000. The parcel had been intercepted at an international parcel hub in Coventry, England. The packages had been addressed to Holmes, and the National Crime Agency Officers in Scotland had been immediately alerted following the discovery.
On the 20th of December 2018, the cops had also conducted a rigorous search in the accused’s flat in Thomson Street of Aberdeen. They had found over 73,000 MDMA tablets that had accounted for over £730,000. Other than this, the cops had also found various coloured ecstasy pills stored in large packets and sealed containers in a cupboard. Additionally, they could get their hands on cash worth almost £8,500. This was not it. The cops had also discovered envelopes, scales and the receipts for stamps worth £800 that could serve 400 deliveries.
Accomplice Connor Holmes, one of these darknet drug lords, had also been caged for over two years (27 months) at the High Court in Edinburgh for his active participation.
Earlier, Roddie had admitted being concerned about the supply of ecstasy in the months between February and December 2018. The other convicted had admitted being worried about the drug supply in the months between October and December 2018.
A judge told Roddie: “You involved yourself in a criminal scheme which brought large amounts of MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, into Aberdeen which you then distributed.”
Lord Boyd of Duncansby said: “The addiction to Class A drugs is a significant problem in our society which causes untold health problems and misery to those who become addicted.”
The judge said at the High Court in Edinburgh: “There is no doubt this was a very significant drug operation.”
In the ordinary course, the judge had also mentioned that Roddie would have faced eight to nine years of imprisonment. However, the judge had accepted that there had been mitigation in the case.
Lord Boyd said: “I accept you were, to an extent, acting under the direction of others.”
He told first offender Holmes: “I accept you were not involved in the onward distribution of the drugs.”
The court has heard that Holmes had rented a Thomson Street flat since the 24th of October, 2018. He used to pay £525 a month as rent, but Roddie had paid him £500 a month for a locked room.
While the officers had been armed with a warrant and raided the property, they could find 73,366 different coloured tablets of ecstasy worth excess of £733,660 in the Roddie-rented bedroom.
Detective Inspector Tom Gillan of the Organised Crime Partnership (Scotland) said: “From the address in Aberdeen, Holmes and Roddie were able to receive and distribute illicit drugs, with a street value of around £1.3 million on an international scale.”
“Targeting the supply and distribution of controlled drugs across the country remains an absolute priority for the Organised Crime Partnership and its partners.”
“The men made use of the dark web and cryptocurrencies to support their criminal marketplace and used the UK postal system to distribute the drugs. This was a blatant attempt to protect their criminal enterprise and frustrate international law enforcement, which ultimately failed.”
“This is an example of a targeted investigation which disrupted a developed and sophisticated criminal model, based in the North East of Scotland and I am happy to acknowledge the hard work of the officers involved in a complex and challenging investigation.”
David Green, procurator fiscal for homicide and major crime, said: “This was a concentrated effort to bring significant quantities of illegal and harmful drugs through Scotland, which was foiled thanks to co-operation between law enforcement agencies and COPFS.”
“Drugs cause harm and feed addiction in Scotland’s communities, and these men sought to profit from that misery.”
“COPFS is committed to working with partners to reduce that harm and ensure we continue to pursue and prosecute those who seek to profit from drugs.”
Gerry McLean, Regional Head of Investigations at the National Crime Agency, said, “These two men were responsible for the global distribution of class A drugs on an industrial scale, and it is only right that they spend time behind bars.”
“Holmes and Roddie thought that they could evade law enforcement by using the dark web and cryptocurrencies, hiding behind computer screens, and tricking our postal service into facilitating their dirty work.”
“Drugs, money and violence all go hand-in-hand. The NCA and Police Scotland will continue to work together to stop organized criminals profiting from the importation and supply of drugs with the aim of reducing violence and exploitation across Scotland and the rest of the UK.”
The officers could conclude that Roddie was in charge of the drug package delivery to the flat that Holmes signed. The cops had examined the convicted Roddie’s laptop that revealed 11 tracked packages delivered to the flat between the 14th of November and the 14th of December.
The Defence Counsel for Roddie, David Moggach, had said that the electrician’s laborer had been consuming drugs and gambling that made him bankrupt.
Source: The Scottish Sun
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