A West Yorkshire resident, Simon Barclay, has been convicted of drug trafficking worth millions of pounds on the dark web with cryptocurrency proceeds.
Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Deals Involving Crypto
Barclay, 41, pleaded guilty on Tuesday at Leeds Crown Court to several crimes, including the possession of Class A and B drugs and crime proceeds stored in crypto assets valued at about £5.5 million ($6.6 million) in late 2021.
According to a West Yorkshire Police report, Barclay’s illegal activities were first noticed in 2021 by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU), the UK’s national dark web criminality investigations division.
After months of investigation, the convict’s identity was uncovered, and the ERSOU made contact with the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Cyber Crime Unit and Kirklees Police. The Yorkshire cybercrime unit and Kirklees Police began to investigate further by monitoring Barclay’s routine drops to a local post office from addresses connected to him.
In November 2021, the drug dealer was arrested by Kirklees Programme Precision Officers. After his capture, the authorities searched his properties, including his personal computers, to discover the drugs and cryptocurrencies.
Nine Years in Jail
Commenting on the case, DI Simon Reddington, an officer at the Kirklees Police Programme Precision Team, said:
“Barclay’s use of the dark web proved to be the key to opening the door to his drugs network, and this operation truly demonstrates the effectiveness of information sharing between the police and our national and regional partners.”
Simon Barclay was sentenced to nine years in prison for his crimes. The convict will also face a Proceeds of Crime hearing later this year. This will ensure proper confiscation of his profits and that he never reaps any benefits from them after his jail term.
Crypto for Drug Deals
Barclay is not the first person to utilize cryptocurrencies for drug deals. Last year, CryptoPotato reported that Indian police arrested Makarand Pardeep Adivirkar, also known as the “Crypto King,” for purchasing drugs from the dark web using Bitcoin.
In a more recent report, Germany confiscated $25 million in Bitcoin after shutting down the servers of Hydra, the world’s largest illegal dark web marketplace.