A bitcoin-based drug gang landed a cumulative 20 plus years in prison following a UK police bust.

Colin McCabe, Toby Woods, and Robert Price sold over 1 million pounds worth of Class A drugs including cocaine, ketamine, and cannabis. The trio sold their products on the dark web and shipped as far as Australia, according to an August 9 BBC report.

The FBI first tipped off UK police of the self-proclaimed ‘Project4’ drug ring. 

As the ringleader, McCabe was sentenced to 12 years behind bars by the Aylesbury Crown Court, followed by 9 years and nine months for Price. Woods received 14 months for his participation.

Investigators caught the ring via DNA matching, connecting drug-bearing envelopes to the men. Police found further evidence upon arrest, including packing material and phones with numerous addresses. They found over a kilo of cannabis resin and 580 grams of MDMA at Price’s address. 

Commenting on the drug ring, Judge Francis Sheridan said Project4 “was as professional and well organised an operation as I’ve ever encountered.” Bitcoin helped keep the operation under wraps, the judge further claimed.

Detective Inspector Rob Bryant praised his police department’s tech capabilities:

“McCabe was the key player in the organisation and coordinated the buying and selling of the substances and used encryption software and the dark web in an attempt to remain anonymous.

Unfortunately for McCabe and his accomplices, we have a dedicated team of cyber specialists working tirelessly to identify those looking to utilise the internet for illegal purposes, and we are completely driven to apprehend such criminals and bring them before the courts.”

Image via CoinDesk archives

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