darknet news

Doctor Sentenced to Five Years in Jail for Dark Web Drug Operation

A doctor who operated under the pseudonym "Imperial Storm Trooper" on the darknet markets has been sentenced to five years in jail for selling illegal drugs. Shoaib Ahmad, 41, was found guilty of selling ecstasy, cannabis, and counterfeit versions of the anxiety-reducing medication Xanax over a period of 12 months from July 2016 to August 2017. The sentencing took place at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday, December 11.

 Shoaib Ahmad ecstacy pills seized darknet

Ahmad, previously of Dale Road, Halesowen, had a history of drug-related offenses and had served prison time in France. He was on remand for two years before his recent sentencing. The investigation into his activities began in early 2017 when police intercepted a package containing drugs addressed to a rented postbox in Birmingham. It was discovered that Ahmad had rented several postboxes across the West Midlands under different names, using them to receive shipments of drugs that he would then sell to others.

Operating under the aliases "Imperial Storm Trooper" and "IST," Ahmad conducted his transactions using the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. West Midlands Police estimated that he made over £250,000 during the year he was involved in drug dealing. Ahmad was also linked to another drug dealer, Marc Ward, who was arrested in June 2017. Ward revealed that Ahmad's alter-ego, the Imperial Storm Trooper, was among several suppliers taking over his trade in counterfeit Xanax.

Xanax, a prescription medication used to treat anxiety and panic disorders, is often abused for its sedative effects. Ahmad's illegal online drug deals came to light when French authorities arrested him in August 2017. During a search, they found him carrying 46kg of ecstasy tablets with a street value of over €615,000 (£528,704). Ahmad was subsequently sentenced to six years in prison in France.

Following Ahmad's arrest in France, the UK authorities conducted a search at his home address in Halesowen. They discovered various drugs and digital devices that linked Ahmad to the Imperial Stormtrooper profile and his illegal online drug activities. He was extradited from France to the UK in July 2021 and remained on remand until his recent trial. Ahmad pleaded guilty to a total of 17 offenses related to possession and intent to supply controlled substances.

The judge, taking into account Ahmad's previous prison time in France, handed down a five-year sentence. Detective constable Holly Percival, from the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit's cyber-crime team, emphasized that Ahmad's capture demonstrates their determination to tackle crimes in cyberspace. She highlighted that Ahmad, despite being a registered medical practitioner, showed little regard for the dangers these drugs posed to others, prioritizing his own profit.

The case serves as a reminder that law enforcement agencies are relentless in pursuing criminals operating on the dark web. With their technical expertise and resources, they are committed to disrupting drug trades wherever they occur. Ahmad's capture stands as a testament to their resolve in combating illegal activities in cyberspace.