Drug-dealing doctor who named himself 'Stormtrooper' is jailed

Doctor who took name of Star Wars stormtrooper to sell ecstasy, cannabis and fake Xanax on the dark web is jailed for five years

A drug-dealing doctor who called himself ‘Imperial Storm Trooper’ after the blaster-wielding baddies in Star Wars has been jailed for five years.

Shoaib Ahmad, 41, of Halesowen, Birmingham, gave the impression of being a ‘respected professional’ while flogging ecstasy, cannabis and fake Xanax online.

A court heard the medical practitioner operated under the pseudonyms ‘Imperial Storm Trooper’ – the full name for the iconic white-clad soldiers commanded by Darth Vader in George Lucas’ sci-fi saga – and ‘IST’ online.

He made at least £250,000 in Bitcoin cryptocurrency between July 2016 and August 2017 – but was rumbled when police intercepted a package containing drugs addressed to a rented mailbox in Birmingham.

The postbox was rented under a different name but paid for through Ahmad’s bank account, and was one of several he rented under various names.

Shoaib Ahmad, who was snared by police selling drugs online under the alias ‘Imperial Storm Trooper’

Police seized ecstasy tablets during their investigation into Ahmad, who was jailed in France before being extradited to the UK

Ahmad used the alias ‘Imperial Storm Trooper’ on the dark web, after the blaster-wielding soldiers in Star Wars (file picture)

Ahmad used the mailboxes to receive shipments of drugs, which he then sold on to others.

He was also linked to another drug dealer Marc Ward, of Portsmouth, who was arrested by the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit in June 2017.

Ward was part of a drugs gang who also dealt under different aliases on various marketplaces on the dark web.

Announcing plans to ‘retire’ from dealing on one of the sites, Ward revealed ‘Imperial Storm Trooper’ was among several suppliers taking over his trade in counterfeit Xanax, also known as Alprazolam.

Only available on prescription in the UK, Xanax is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders but is often abused for its sedative effects.

Following Ward’s arrest, Ahmad travelled to France in August 2017, crossing into Belgium to the Netherlands.

On his return to France, he was searched by French border officers who found him carrying 46kg of ecstasy tablets with a street value of just over 615,000 euros. 

Ahmad was arrested, charged and sentenced to six years in prison in France; French authorities contacted West Midlands Police who searched his home as part of their ongoing investigation.

Officers found a variety of drugs along with digital devices, which revealed Ahmad’s link to the Imperial Storm Trooper profile and his illegal online drug deals.

Ahmad was extradited from France to the UK in July 2021 and was placed on remand awaiting trial. 

He pleaded guilty to 17 offences relating to possession and intent to supply controlled substances on June 28 this year, and was jailed last Monday, December 11, at Birmingham Crown Court.

Passing sentence, the judge remarked that Ahmad would have been given a heavier sentence had he not already spent time in prison in France.

Detective Constable Holly Percival, from the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit’s cyber-crime team, said: ‘To the outside world Shoaib Ahmad was a respected professional and very far from most people’s idea of a drug dealer.

‘Behind the scenes however, within the secretive community operating on the dark web, he was heavily involved in selling illegal drugs. 

‘As a registered medical practitioner, Ahmad knew well the dangers these drugs posed but he had little regard for others, only for his own profit.

‘He also thought he was beyond our reach, acting under the cloak of anonymity on the dark web, but we are as relentless in our pursuit of those who carry out crimes in cyberspace as we are tackling those who offend on the streets.

‘We have the technical expertise and resource to take on these criminals and we are determined to disrupt the drug trades wherever it takes place. Ahmad’s capture is testament to our resolve.’

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