A man from the Sunshine Coast of Australia was sentenced for serious drug offenses including importing marketable quantities of border-controlled substances across the border.
Dylan Phillip Ford, a resident of Coolum Beach, sold drugs to his friends at the street level. His source? The Silk Road website.
On the website, he used his real name and address. His drug of choice was ecstasy, and his shipments were ceased by Australian Customs and Border Control.
Police searched Ford’s home, where they found more drugs bought online using Bitcoin. After searching his computer, they learned he discussed drugs on Facebook.
Ford, who accepted cash for the ecstasy he sold to friends, used the proceeds from the drug sales to pay for bills and for recreational activities.
A Brisbane Supreme Court heard how a 20 year old Ford in 2013 first began trafficking. He admitted guilt and retracted it, and then did that again, before pleading guilty to the offenses. Ford said he felt “absolutely horrible about his actions.”
He said: “At the time when I doing it, it just seemed easy, I was stupid, obviously I should not have done the things I did, it was easy and I got carried away with it. After getting caught with it all, I’ve taken every step I can to try to turn my life away from that and onto something else.”
Ford is starting a pet food business and wants to become a veterinary nurse.”The last three years has been absolute hell,” he added, taking full responsibility, noting he wanted to prove to his father, family and friends he could learn from the experience and be a better person.
Justice David Boddice noted Ford was remorseful, but lamented how long it took for Ford to come clean, which cost the community resources.
“While you were young, and I accept you were very young because of your dysfunctional upbringing, a typical young male, with a attitude perhaps that you were bulletproof and nothing would happen to you that would cause you,” Justice Boddice said. You engaged in the importation and the attempted importation of a number of occasions”.
He placed blame on Ford for bringing the drugs into the community. Ford received five years in jail for trafficking.
The judge noted that Ford should serve as long of the sentence as possible in the custody, for “the need for general deterrence looms large in the current case”.
For will first be eligible for parole on December 24, 2018.
Australia, noting the popularity of importing dark net drugs via websites like the Silk Road, has set up a Border Task Force of four agents to investigate such cases.
James Martin, a criminologist at Macquarie University, conjectures that about 150 dark-net operators are based in Australia, reports The Australian. Many more are off shore, he says.
‘’What’s the bang for your buck?’’ Dr Martin said. ‘’With dark-net dealers, you’re investing huge amounts of money in cyber investigation and in the end you’re getting small-time drug dealers. It’s not that they can’t do it, it’s about how much money do you want to spend to track (them down)?’’
Border Force Chief Roman Quaedvlieg told News Corp Australia the dark net is not invisible to authorities. “We have significant intelligence holdings related to dark net sites and people should not underestimate the ability of Australian and international authorities to track and detect imports purchased via these websites,” he said.