A British man, believed to be part of a darknet market vendor operation, was sentenced to nine years in prison yesterday after pleading guilty to charges related to possession of heroin and cocaine. He was arrested in November of last year after being caught attempting to smuggle the drugs through the local postal system. Simon Barclay, 41, also pleaded guilty to “possession of cryptocurrency linked to a crime” which totaled approximately $6.63 million as of late last year.
Although the name of the market(s) on which Barclay was a vendor were not named, sentencing documents reveal that Barclay was apprehended on Nov. 3, 2021 while carrying a bag of envelopes filled with drugs to be mailed across various parts of the UK. Barclay, of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, is believed to be “a significant player” in a larger vendor operation, according to UK DICE, the UK national response to darknet-related criminality.
After his arrest, authorities visited two properties Barclay was known to frequent where they found almost $1.5 million worth of heroin and cocaine, some of which was hidden in the refrigerator of an apartment. They also found a few mobile devices on which large sums of cryptocurrency were found, and which must be forfeited per sentencing guidelines.
The judge overseeing Barclay’s sentencing noted that he was “easily pressured,” suggesting that other conspirators were also involved, and that he suffered problems with drug addiction. They also noted that this was his fourth arrest for crimes related to Class A substances, which include cocaine and heroin.
In Sept. 2009, Barclay was sentenced to six years after he was caught throwing heroin and crack cocaine into bushes while attempting to evade the police in his hometown of Huddersfield. Prior to his 2009 arrest, he had already served sentences of three and a half years and five years for similar crimes.