Dark Web Crystal Meth operation busted in Liverpool – A major dark web drug operation was created behind the doors of an ordinary Liverpool home.
Police raided the house on Cairns Street in Toxteth after £120,000 worth of crystal meth was intercepted and followed to the area.
More than half a million pounds worth of methamphetamine was found along with wholesale amounts of other Class A and Class B drugs at the home of banking IT expert Anthony Reid and his partner Zadia Salami.
Greedy Reid admitted earning up to £60,000 from his banking job, and investigations into his computer revealed incriminating data detailing thousands of pounds worth of drug orders dispatched to customers all over the country , including Scotland.
The 38-year-old was involved in numerous deals a day.
Andrew Ford, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court : “He used the internet, specifically the dark web to trade drugs of Class A and Class B.
“These were paid for in the crypto currency, bitcoin and there were two email addresses which could be used to trade in the currency.
“His supply network allowed for an expansive and nationwide trade in these substances. He stood at the heart of the importations.”
Drug dealing paraphernalia including heat sealing and labelling machines, Jiffy bags and bulking substances including Epsom Salts and acetone, were also found at this major drugs distribution centre.
About three and a half kilos of crystal meth was found, mostly in a safe.
Reid’s partner, Salami, the full-time mother of two of his children, admitted knowing the code for the safe on the day of the raid on March 22, 2019.
As well as using Salami’s home for parcel delivery, Reid also used the homes of two previous girlfriends for such deliveries.
Liverpool Crown Court heard on Friday that the raid at the unassuming terraced house in Cairns Street followed the interception of about £120,000 worth of crystal meth by Border Force officers at a Parcelforce hub in Coventry.
The parcel was addressed to Anthony Steven in Warbreck Moor, which was the home of a former long-term girlfriend of Reid, the mother of his two sons, and she told how he often asked her to take delivery of parcels.
There had been various other interceptions of parcels intended for Reid, said Mr Ford, during the two year conspiracy and these included consignments of benzocaine and Crystal Meth.
Investigations showed drug deliveries had been made to the Cairn Street address on various occasions prior to the raid and signed for by the couple.
The drugs found at the raid included a kilo of ecstasy tablets, £7,500 worth of flowering cannabis heads, two and a half kilos of MDMA powder, cocaine and ketamine.
In Reid’s Audi outside the house, police found a parcel label was addressed to another of Reid’s former partner’s with whom he has a 13-year-old son.
The label was from a parcel successfully delivered to her city centre home and five other parcels containing benzocaine had been previously intercepted.
Both his other two girlfriends whose homes were used for deliveries were cleared by a jury of conspiring to supply drugs.
Reid admitted two offences of conspiring to smuggle Class A drugs and two offences of conspiring to supply Class A and Class B drugs.
Salami, 30, pleaded not guilty but was convicted after a trial of conspiring to supply Class A and Class B drugs.
Mr Ford said that Reid “was the orchestrator of the conspiracies and the jury were sure that she was involved… He directed the distribution of the consignments once in the jurisdiction.”
Jailing Reid for 12 years, Judge Brian Cummings, QC, said: “You are a man of intelligence and ability and you chose to devote those attributes to crime.”
“You used Salami’s home as centre of the operation, storing during there and using the premises for the preparation and distribution of drug deals of various weights and value to various customers.
“You used the dark web and crypto currency as an untraceable way of handing the financial side of the business.
Lloyd Morgan, defending, said that Reid, who has convictions for being concerned in suppling crack cocaine and heroin and producing cannabis, was ashamed and remorseful particularly because of the collateral damage brought to other people.
Defence barrister, Melanie Simpson, said that Salami had not become involved until after her former partner had died.
She was highly vulnerable after becoming pregnant with Reid’s baby and he moved in full time in March last year and she suffered domestic abuse at his hands.
She was and is suffering from severe depression and there was an element of coercion and exploitation.
She has no previous convictions and is the sole carer of her children.
Jailed Salami for three and a half years, Judge Cummings said that while he accepted she had been vulnerable she had to accept her responsibility.
He added: “I saw little evidence of this at your trial. You allowed a drug dealer to carry out drugs transactions at the home of you and your son.”