Gavin Brown, a former A-grade rugby player from Darwin, Australia, was sentenced to 18 months in jail for buying MDMA via the dark web and conspiring to redistribute the supply for commercial gains.
The 27-year-old Litchfield Bears player and under-eights coach used Bitcoin to buy MDMA worth around $6,000 AUD.
Authorities gave no details on which darknet marketplace or vendor from which the accused brought the drugs.
Intent to Redistribute MDMA Pills
Brown was arrested on June 6, 2018 at his workplace the same day police executed a search warrant at his home prior to his arrest.
They discovered $900, 400 blue MDMA pills in a clip-seal bag as well as a brown paper bag containing plastic clip-seal bags.
Local news sources say that during the investigations, Brown told the police that he bought a total of 500 MDMA tablets, of which he consumed around 100 pills.
In his Supreme Court hearing proceedings, it was stated that Brown intended to resell the remainder of the drugs through various local nightclubs and pubs.
It was alleged that if the 400 pills were resold at Darwin’s street price at the time, Brown stood to cash in between $16,000 and $20,000—the equivalent of around $40 to $50 per pill.
However, due to Brown’s family obligations—his partner is expecting a child as well as work-related responsibilities—the judge in charge, Justice Peter Barr, reduced his sentence from two years to 18 months.
Furthermore, he directed that Brown serves three months in jail while remaining 15 months will be served as a suspended sentence.
Justice Barr also instructed that if Brown commits any offence within the two years after he is released, he will be prosecuted for the fresh offence and will be sent back to jail to serve the 15 months of the suspended sentence.
Additionally, during the hearing, Justice Barr called Brown’s intention to resell the drugs “selfish,” for putting his interests ahead of the community’s interests.
He stated that Brown’s intentions were no different to a dealer who sells all their stock and leaves none for personal use.
The reason given by the judge for such a comparison is that they all sell drugs which result in adverse consequences to the community.
The judge also stated that Brown intended to venture into commercial drug dealing in order for him to obtaining drugs for free.
Australia a Notable Player in Global Darknet Drug Trade
Brown, who is a plumbing trades assistant, used the dark web to purchase the drugs because they are cheaply available online as compared to street dealers.
This can somewhat be attributed to the fact that Australia, per capita, has the second highest number of darknet vendors in the world, coming second to the Netherlands.
With such a high concentration of vendors, the darknet market prices are bound to be cheaper than street price.
In terms of ecstasy, research indicates that Australia accounts for 9 percent of global sales.
However, most the drug sales analyzed showed that they occurred domestically while few were for international buyers.
Although Australian vendors are cheaper, they are more expensive compared to Netherlands-based vendors due to the fact that there is less competition in Australian markets caused by high prices.
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