Robert Price (left) and Colin McCabe (right)
Colin McCabe, 39 and Robert Price, 36, earned more than £1m selling Class A drugs on Empire Market. Empire Market is a dark web market that these men buy and sell drugs. Thousands of people buy and sell on Empire Market.
FBI discovered the network, and then contacted UK police. It was the first serious police incident of Empire Market which is new in darknet.
Aylesbury Crown Court heard the duo used Bitcoin to avoid detection and sold drugs including cocaine, ketamine and cannabis.
McCabe was jailed for 12 years after admitting conspiracy to supply drugs including cocaine, ketamine and cannabis.
Price was jailed for nine years and nine months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply drugs.
The court heard that drugs are sold by using Bitcoin to clients.
However, they were caught when detectives matched the DNA of one of the men to packaging on envelopes containing drugs.
A search of Price’s address revealed 1.3kg of cannabis resin with a street value of £13,200 and 580g of MDMA with a value of over £10,000.
Sentencing, Judge Francis Sheridan said he had never come across a drug supply operation “as sophisticated or well organised as this one”.
He said the fact payments were made in bitcoins was a further attempt to evade capture.
We look forward to what will happen in the coming days to make the markets sustainable.