Dark web drug dealers who sent cocaine, ketamine, cannabis and sleeping pills in the post have been jailed. 

Joe McNally, the leader of the group, used accounts on the dark web - a part of the internet not visible to the public - to sell drugs be purchased using cryptocurrency. 

Robert Brewster,  55, of High Road, Brent, and Benjamin Martin-Bynoe, 35, of Castlehaven Road, Camden, then packaged discreetly and sent the orders via the Royal Mail. 

On Monday (April 8) McNally, 33, of Park Lane in Finchampstead, Berkshire, was jailed for 18 years and six months. 

Brewster was jailed for six years and two months while Martin-Bynoe was jailed for five and a half years.

Times Series: Brewster, from Brent, and Martin-Bynoe, from CamdenBrewster, from Brent, and Martin-Bynoe, from Camden (Image: ROCU) At a previous hearing they had all pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply and importation of cocaine, ketamine, cannabis and zopiclone, a sleeping pill. 

Their network came to light when the EncroChat encrypted messaging system was taken down. 

When McNally was arrested officers discovered he was using a laptop with a USB that held software to prevent it from storing data. 

But they later found that it contained information of customers that the drugs were being supplied to.    

Times Series: Joe McNally, said to have been the leader of the operation, was jailed for over 18 yearsJoe McNally, said to have been the leader of the operation, was jailed for over 18 years (Image: ROCU)

Rebecca Sharp, specialist prosecutor for the CPS, said: “The defendants in this case were involved in a sophisticated criminal operation which saw an large-scale supply of illegal drugs, sold online and sent worldwide.  

“Despite their considerable efforts to evade detection - using the dark web, cryptocurrency and encryption software to disguise their criminal business – the overwhelming amount of evidence against each defendant meant that they had little choice but to admit their involvement.  

“The CPS worked closely and effectively with the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit to prosecute this organised crime group, building a strong case and bringing them to justice.  

“We will be pursuing confiscation proceedings against Joe McNally and Benjamin Martin-Bynoe to recover the proceeds of their criminal conduct.”