A judge in the U.K. sentenced a Dream Market vendor to time served and community service instead of time behind bars.
Mohammed Ghani, who has an address in Manchester, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply a controlled drug class C, conspiracy to sell prescription-only medication, and offering for sale goods with the sign or packaging which bears a sign identical or likely to be mistaken as a registered trademark.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) identified Ghani after conducting controlled purchases from the vendor FatSam on Dream Market. On June 25, 2018, an MHRA officer made an undercover purchase from “FatSam.” The officer ordered 20 Ambien tablets and paid 0.0007 bitcoin. On July 1, 2018, the officer received an envelope that contained a total of 50 tablets. Writings on the packaging showed that the drugs had been manufactured by a nonexistent company based in Liverpool. MHRA analysts later established that the pills contained 7.6 milligrams of Zolpidem.
An MHRA officer placed another order with “FatSam” but never received the drug’s package even though the vendor marked the order as shipped.
Investigators spoke with employees of the Post Office during the investigation. The prosecutor said:
“Enquiries were made at the Post Office to establish whether they were complicit, the postmaster confirmed they knew the defendant as ‘Azeem’, and said he told them he was posting beads his wife had made. They also confirmed he had purchased bought 50 first class stamps and said that during 2018 he began posting parcels and said he told them it was health supplements he had obtained from China. He was well known to the staff and permitted behind the counter, posted his parcels and the postmaster estimated the defendant had posted hundreds of parcels in all.”
In October 2018, the investigators executed search warrants on Ghani’s home and a storage unit he had rented. The search on his home resulted in the seizure of more than 7,500 pills. The officers found and seized packaging material and more than 278,000 pills from the storage unit.
Judge Nicholas Dean QC:
“There was some degree of sophistication using the dark web and for the distribution of class C drugs. I would think you did so for monetary gain. You are now of an age (DNL note: Ghani is 39…) where I hope in the future you will avoid offending altogether - I hope we don’t see you again before this court.”
The judge sentenced Ghani to 18 months suspended for two years and 180 hours of community service.