Operating from a concealed laboratory at a warehouse in Acton, for 4 ½ years the three conspirators manufactured drugs on an industrial scale, producing first benzodiazepines and, more recently, the synthetic opioid N-desethyl isotonitazene (“NDI”). The group sold their produce over the Dark Web and received payment in cryptocurrency. They used well-known pharmaceutical trademarks to emboss and package their tablets, passing them off as genuine Xanax or Diazepam.
Henrietta has been advising on this prosecution for over a year. Although NDI has been implicated in numerous drug-related deaths in recent years, this case involved the first known seizure of NDI within England and Wales. The case required painstaking scientific analysis by specialist scientists at the Ministry of Defence facility in Porton Down, to demonstrate NDI’s psychoactive effect; the expert report produced for sentence confirmed NDI as 26 times more potent than Fentanyl, according to the available scientific literature. The three defendants were sentenced to between six and 11 years’ custody. NDI is about to be classified under the Misuse of Drugs Act as a controlled drug of Class A.