Breaking Bad-inspired drug trafficker from Redbridge is jailed
- Credit: Archant
A Redbridge pharmacology student involved in a dark web drugs trafficking ring has been sentenced to 11 years and two months in jail.
The ring - composed of four University of Manchester students - were sentenced to a total of 49 years and 8 months at Manchester Crown Court yesterday (March 21).
Jaikashen Patel, of Woodford Avenue, plead guilty to conspiracy to import, export and supply controlled drugs at an earlier hearing.
His three conspirators Elliott Hyams, 26, of of Barnsbury Street, Islington; James Roden, 25, of Half Moon Lane, Herne Hill; and Basil Assad, 26, of Corringway, Ealing also plead guilty.
Led by Assaf, the group sent drugs including LSD, ecstasy and ketamine to buyers around the world inspired by US TV series Breaking Bad.
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Between May 2011 and October 2013, the group are thought to have earned at least £812,000 from trading drugs such as ecstacy on the now-closed Silk Road website.
The online shop funded a luxury lifestyle for the group including holidays in the Bahamas and Jamaica, as well as weekends partying with suppliers in Amsterdam.
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Sentencing, Judge Michael Leeming told the defendants: “Drugs are a blight on our society. Misery and degradation is the typical result.
“As intelligent young men you will all each appreciate that that misery is caused and certainly contributed to by people like you.”
A fifth defendant, Joshua Morgan, 28, of Chapeltown Street, Manchester, was jailed for seven years and two months after admitting assisting offenders in what the judge described as an “important role” in packaging the drugs for dispatch by mail.
Ian Glover, senior operations manager at the NCA, said: “These five men were interested only in making money. They had no regard whatsoever for the harm these drugs could do to their users.
“The FBI’s excellent work shut the site down in 2013 in a globally significant operation and information they shared with us enabled us to identify, arrest and successfully build this case.
“Sites on the dark net represent a new variation on old crimes and are dealt with accordingly.”