South Tyneside pair sentenced for involvement in wordwide drug operation
The two men were involved in a crime group importing and exporting MDMA, ecstasy tablets, amphetamine and Xanax across the globe.
Two men who were involved in a £4 million worldwide drugs operation via the dark web have been jailed.
A large-scale undercover network was uncovered in 2020 which involved a crime group importing and exporting MDMA, ecstasy tablets, amphetamine and Xanax across the globe.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that Daniel Daymond, 32, and Robbie Arnold, 26, were snared after their ringleader Mubinar Rahman was arrested.
The organised crime group had moved hundreds of kilos of various drugs through the dark web and used local post offices to send and receive the illegal packages.
Emma Dowling, prosecuting, said that Arnold and Dymond were involved at "operational level", together with Rahman.
The court heard that when Rahman was arrested in July 2020 at an address on Neville Street in Washington, Tyne and Wear, a number of kilos of MDMA was seized.
There were also quantities of amphetamine found along with mobile phones.
Last year, the court heard the total value of the drugs seized was over £4m and Rahman was later jailed for nine years.
Ms Dowling said that both Rahman and Daymond were in direct contact with each other and other members of the organised crime group via a specialist encrypted messaging service which was found on the mobile phones.
She said: "It appears from the conversations that Mr Rahman must have been higher because he was described as mentoring Mr Daymond and training him up in drugs operations.
"It does seem that Mr Daymond did already have his own direct contact with members."
Ms Dowling continued: "The National Crime Agency identified and established criminal enterprise centred around South Shields concerning the large-scale drug trafficking including importation, exportation and the domestic supply of MDMA, both crystal and tablet form.
"The drugs were sourced from various dark web operators, the majority of which based abroad.
"The drugs were sent to various North East addresses and were collected by Mr Rahman and Mr Daymond who would then supply on the dark web."
The court heard that a number of packages were also distributed to post offices by the men.
Daymond, of Clyde Avenue, Hebburn, South Tyneside, was also found to have stored 'large quantities' of drugs in his garage.
However, in July 2019, a total of 15 packages of drugs were intercepted by the Border Force and a further 14 packages were seized by the National Crime Agency - which contained multiple kilos of MDMA.
The court heard that the packages were destined for America, Norway, Isarael and other locations in this country.
Dymond and Arnold admitted being knowingly concerned in a fraudulent evasion of the prohibition on the exportation of class A drug, and being knowingly concerned in a fraudulent evasion of the prohibition on the importation of a class A drug.
They also admitted being concerned in supply a controlled drug of class A, B and C to another.
Robin Patton, defending Daymond, said his client became involved after running into financial worries amid the Covid lockdown as he and his partner were both self-employed.
Robin Turton, for Arnold, said: "This isn't somebody who set out to make a lot of money by involving himself in drugs."
Mr Turton told the court that his client effectively began to work for Rahman by a way of paying off his debts to him.
Judge Timothy Gittins sentenced Daymond to six years behind bars, and Arnold, of Lincoln Road, South Shields, to five years and four months.
The judge told the pair: "You fall to be sentenced for your part in a substantial, professional operation to supply class A, B and C drugs across the country and indeed the wider world, over a period between the summer of 2019 and the spring of 2021.
"Albeit, the operation appears largely to have drawn to a close by the summer of 2020 following the arrest of your co-accused Mr Rahman."
The judge accepted that the pair were effectively acting as "postmen", but their roles were "vital" in the operation.
He added: "Only sentences of substantial imprisonment can be justified."