8 year sentence for darkweb drug trader

The Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) has given confiscation orders to a drug dealer who dealt in cryptocurrency to buy and sell illicit drugs, and his child.

Earlier this year Paul Johnson pleaded guilty to supplying class A and B drugs, possession with intent to supply class A drugs, improper importation of goods – class A and B drugs – to the UK and five counts of money laundering. Formerly Northampton Road's 32-year-old, Market Harborough, was sentenced to eight years in jail at Leicester Crown Court, four of which would be served on a warrant.

His wife, Lia Johnson, also pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to four counts of money laundering. The 28-year-old also of Northampton Road, Market Harborough was given a two year custodial sentence, suspended for two years.

When officers executed a warrant the home address, they seized Paul Johnson’s laptop and secured Bitcoin wallets containing 22.7 coins. When those coins were converted into sterling they were valued at more than £300,000. Drugs to the value of nearly £7,000 were also recovered from the home address.

At a hearing in Leicester Crown Court on Friday (5 June), Paul Johnson was said to have gained by more than £ 2 million from his crimes. He had been ordered under POCA to pay back £1,840,000.

Lia Johnson was said to have benefited over £143,000, she was ordered to pay £135,000 back.

Paul Wenlock the head of the force’s economic crime unit, said: “The courts agreed that the crimes committed by Paul Johnson meant the couple had both benefited financially. The court has made the confiscation order and if the order is not satisfied, then potentially Paul Johnson will serve a further 10 years in default, and Lia Johnson will serve 2 years in default.

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