Gang jailed for selling potentially lethal drugs on the dark web

|News, International and organised crime

Three men who used the dark web to sell potentially lethal drugs to hundreds of customers across the UK and abroad have today (18 January) been jailed for a total of more than 43 years.

Jake Levene, 23, Lee Childs, 45, and Mandy Lowther, 22, from West Yorkshire, sold fentanyl and carfentanyl on the dark web under the business name UKBargins.

The trio made almost £165,000 in just five months by mixing the drugs, which are synthetic opioids, with bulking agents at an industrial unit in Leeds and posting them to customers.

Levene controlled the unit with Lowther while Childs was responsible for packaging and posting the drugs.

All three admitted supplying and exporting class A drugs and were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court. 

Nigel James, from the CPS, said: “Jake Levene, Lee Childs and Mandy Lowther created an online business selling potentially lethal doses of fentanyl and carfentanyl on an international scale.

“They attempted to disguise their activities using the dark web but investigators were able to gather evidence to support the prosecution which resulted in all three defendants pleading guilty.”

Notes to editors

  • Nigel James is a Specialist Prosecutor in the CPS International Justice and Organised Crime Division.
  • Jake Levene (22.11.95) pleaded guilty to exporting and supplying fentanyl and carfentanyl. He was jailed for 16.5 years.
  • Lee Childs (28.03.73) pleaded guilty to exporting and supplying fentanyl and carfentanyl. He was jailed for 10.5 years.
  • Mandy Lowther (10.12.96) pleaded guilty to exporting and supplying fentanyl and carfentanyl. He was jailed for 16.5 years.

Further reading