A drug dealer, who falsely claimed to be a “pharmacist,” has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison after the death of a University of Cambridge student. Benjamin Brown was located by the Cambridgeshire Police following the discovery of 20-year-old Keshava Iyengar’s lifeless body in a friend’s room at Trinity College, Cambridge University, in March 2021.
A coroner’s report determined Indian-origin student Iyengar’s death as drug-related, and subsequent police investigations revealed incriminating messages on his phone from a drug dealer known as “Lean Xan Man”. The authorities identified Lean Xan Man as 32-year-old Brown from Guildford in Surrey.
Detective Constable Dan Harper of Cambridgeshire Police, who led the investigation, remarked, “Brown was running a significant operation from his bedroom in Surrey, with tragic consequences.”
At the Huntingdon Law Courts, where Brown was sentenced last week, Detective Constable Harper emphasised that while it’s challenging to establish a direct link between Brown’s actions and Keshava’s death, the destructive impact of drugs on lives is undeniable.
In the inquest regarding the demise of Mr. Iyengar, a London resident, it was disclosed that the student had consumed the drug to alleviate ‘high anxiety levels’ without exhibiting recklessness. Coroner Simon Milburn determined there was evidence suggesting that Mr. Iyengar did not have the intention of taking his own life.
Harper underscored the importance of restricting certain drugs to prescription-only status and reiterated that combating such activities remains a top priority for Cambridgeshire Police.
The court proceedings revealed that Brown, who portrayed himself as a “pharmacist,” used Instagram and Snapchat to sell a range of prescription-only drugs. His arrest in July 2021 led to a search of his residence, uncovering not only drugs but also over GBP 15,000 in cash and labels bearing his “business logo”.
Brown admitted guilt to two charges of being involved in the supply of prohibited and controlled substances, including the supply of Class A drugs, two counts related to the supply of Class C substances, one charge involving the supply of Class B substances, and charges of possession of Class A and possession with intent to supply Class C.
As per the police report, the judge overseeing the case characterised Brown’s drug dealing enterprise as “substantial, sophisticated, and lucrative.” The judge noted that Brown, driven by greed, had “profited from the vulnerabilities of others dependent on prescription medication for conditions such as anxiety.”