A drug dealer based in Ballymena has been jailed for three-and-a-half years after a local police investigation uncovered his illicit trade being carried out on the dark web and using bitcoin in an attempt to cover his tracks.
Polish native, 33-year-old Kamil Balicki, with an address at Carndale Meadows in Ballymena, appeared via videolink from Maghaberry Prison last week charged with Concerned in the supply of Class A controlled drugs (Heroin and Cocaine), Concerned in the supply of Class B controlled drugs (Cannabis and Amphetamine), and Possession of Criminal Property (just over £3000 cash).
The charges follow an investigation by PSNI Ballymena District Support Team (DST) back in January 2022 into the sale of drugs on the dark web, which ultimately led to the arrest of Balicki when the team conducted a raid at the home of the dealer on 17 January 2022.
During the trial Prosecuting Counsel Michael Chambers stated the search was triggered by the PSNI's cyber crime team after officers "identified that cocaine and heroin were being offered for sale for £40 per gram on the dark web by an individual using the moniker: 'dreamliner777'".
Judge Alistair Devlin also heard that police investigations revealed over £90,000 of transactions passed through the defendant’s Bitcoin wallet, shown in his bank account.
Jailing Kamil Balicki, Judge Devlin ordered him to serve half of his 42 month sentence in jail and half on licence, and recommended that once freed, Balicki be deported back to his native Poland.
Commenting after the case, a police spokesperson said:
"It should be noted that he has been in prison on remand since the date of his arrest, and he made considerable efforts to conceal his identity online using encryption thinking he was safe from Police action.
"Please let this be a reminder to those people who involve themselves in drug supply, at any stage the Police could be at your door or stop your car and within 24 hours you could end up in Prison living a very different life to what you are currently used to.
"If you have any information in relation to drug supply in your area contact us on 101 or Anonymously on Crimestoppers 0800 555 111."