Cocaine and crypto: Dealer caught with millions in gains gets 9 years in jail

A drug dealer caught with $6.7 million in cryptocurrency and $1.4 million worth of cocaine has been handed nine years in jail by a UK court.
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A drug dealer caught with $6.7 million in crypto and $1.4 million worth of cocaine has been handed nine years in jail by a UK court.

Simon Barclay was arrested in November 2021 and pleaded guilty to the charges in May this year. 

When he was arrested, police discovered several devices containing $6.7 million worth of crypto, including bitcoin, they say Barclay had been paid in return for drugs.

Police also uncovered a multi-million dollar stash of cocaine and heroin in the bust.

Prosecutor Mathew Bean explained that “it was through the dark web that he [Barclay] arranged for the sale and payment of drugs.” 

Bean explained that Barclay had used multiple online usernames to conceal his identity. “The defendant used those [usernames] to supply drugs and arranged for them to be sent in the post and received money in crypto,” said Bean.

Crypto drug dealer was tracked on the dark web

Barclay was tracked by the UK’s Dark Web Intelligence Collection and Exploitation team (DICE). The task force includes local authorities and specialist cyber-crime departments working together as part of a wider initiative to crack down on criminals operating on the dark web.

In this case, the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit first relayed Barclay’s crypto-based dealings to the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Cyber Crime Unit and Kirkee police.

Police monitoring Barclay’s trips to the post office stopped him in the street, searched his bag, and found several envelopes addressed to his customers containing cocaine and heroin.

Read more: Weed & Bitcoin: Dad and son caught running $13M empire from Starbucks

Shortly after the arrest, police searched two properties linked to Barclay where they discovered his crypto holdings and a stash of drugs. 

The police are currently applying the Proceeds of Crime Act to seize his crypto. Criminal cases involving caches of digital currency have been known to be auctioned off by the police with the profits spent on police resources.

Protos contacted West Yorkshire Police to find out exactly what crypto Barclay was holding and what will happen to the seized funds; at press time they had not responded. We will update this story should we receive a reply.

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