A former KFC worker with a first class honours degree has been jailed for setting up a multi-million pound drugs empire.
Paul Johnson, 32, masterminded the Breaking Bad-style operation he ran from the loft of the modest house he shared with his wife and child.
While TV’s Walter White, a chemistry teacher played by Bryan Cranston, got into the meth-making business and used fried chicken restaurants as a front for its distribution, Johnson imported MDMA, LSD, heroin, cocaine, ketamine and cannabis, a court heard.
Johnson, who quit his job at KFC to start his drugs empire, amassed £1.8million as a result of the lucrative operation he ran from his property in Market Harborough, Leics.
The business studies graduate used the cash to buy property and cars while his partner Lia Johnson, 28, laundered the cash. Digital media investigators found Johnson actively trading with Bitcoins and orders for drugs on his laptop. Bitcoin wallets, with a value of £300,000, were recovered.
Johnson pleaded guilty to supplying Class A and B drugs, possession with intent to supply and five counts of money laundering. He was jailed for eight years at Leicester Crown Court. His partner pleaded guilty to money laundering and was given a two-year jail term, suspended for two years.
Paul Wenlock from Leicestershire Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “Johnson used the internet to commit his crimes.
“He ran an organised business enterprise and traded in cryptocurrency in an attempt to hide his criminal activity from the authorities.
“He used his criminal gains to purchase a property and cars.
“This is one of a handful of cases nationally where cryptocurrency has been used in this way.