A Cambridge man was apprehended following a tipoff by hotel workers over dark web-sourced drugs.
James Johnson, age 30, was said to be in the company of friends in what seemed like a “wild night out.” The group had checked into a Travelodge after ordering drugs via the dark web. It is reported that they spent four days consuming the drugs before the hotel’s staff alerted law enforcement.
They called the cops after detecting a strong smell of weed emanating from their room. The police arrived to find Johnson thoroughly intoxicated and allegedly wearing a bra while filling a bathtub with potatoes.
In this regard, the officers became convinced that the man was excessively high on banned substances.
The cops found a decent variety of illicit drugs on the scene. Apart from marijuana, they discovered a range of psychoactive drugs (5-MAPB and 2CB) during the arrest and eventual raid at Johnson’s house.
Reportedly, the scale of drugs associated with Johnson was sufficient to warrant a charge of “intent to supply.” This begs the assumption that the potato-tub show was just an after effect of overconsuming the drugs.
An Interesting Day in Court
James Johnson appeared before a Southampton Crown Court to answer to drug charges. Rather shocked, Judge Peter Henry quizzed the man who intimated that his deeds “felt right at the time.”
The court heard that the defendant and his cohorts had originated from Eastleigh, their hometown, before organizing the party. The initial plan was to indulge in a one-night binge but fate would have it that their wild night extended into a five-day drug-filled escapade.
Prosecutor James Kellam intimated the particular details of the arrest and reiterated that Johnson’s actions led law enforcement officers to suspect drug abuse.
Initial reports revealed that the group had ordered drugs from the dark web at a cost of $1,000. However, tests by drug experts showed that a substantial portion of the drugs was chemically inactive and that the availably potent stash bore a street value of only $402.
In this sense, it is obvious that Johnson and his friends had fallen prey to a typical dark web scam.
Furthermore, the Southampton court learnt that Johnson worked as a volunteer and that he was on medication. His treatment stopped after he resorted to consuming class A drugs.
Unyime Davies, a mitigator, told the court that Johnson regretted his actions and that he was just an intelligent man who erred.
Eventually, Johnson pleaded guilty to all charges levelled against him.
In sentencing, Judge Peter Henry expressed shock in the gravity of the case by terming the incident as odd. He also went on to remark about the dangers posed by the five-day binge organized by Johnson and his friends.
The defendant was treated to an 18-month community order, with an obligation to attend a nine-month drug rehabilitation program.
More About the Drugs Mentioned in Johnson’s Case
As mentioned earlier, the police visit to the hotel and the subsequent raid on Johnson’s house exposed the man’s use of the dark web to obtain marijuana, 5-MAPB, ecstasy and 2CB.
While marijuana and ecstasy have become commonplace among drug users on the dark web and in the streets, 5-MAPB and 2CB are lesser-known dangerous designer drugs that can be purchased online.
2CB, a psychoactive substance, is a synthetic designer drug classified under the phenethylamine family. The substance has been described in various ways, most notably as an empathogen, stimulant and an agent that causes hallucinations among its users.
2CB has been known to mimic LSD and MDMA although it possesses pharmacokinetic properties that are different from those of the two popular darknet drugs.
The drug is typically available in powder, tablet or capsule form and has been used as a common ecstasy adulterant. Additionally, it is commonly abused at parties and has been said to possess aphrodisiac properties.
The drug has been banned in most countries around the globe, yet it continues to rise in popularity among several European nations and the United Kingdom. This reality is clearly highlighted by a 2014 Global Drug Survey that placed 2CB among the top 20 drugs in prevalence across nine countries. In the study, the U.K. was among the regions recording the highest prevalence in 2013 alone.
Arguably, 2CB is commonly sourced from darknet markets.
5-MAPD is also a synthetic substance that produces a reaction similar to MDMA. Like 2CB, this drug causes empathogenic effects in which users elicit a heightened sense of emotional awareness.
The potency of 5-MAPD has attracted great debate across drug forums. While some people claim that it is less stimulating compared to other stimulants, others find the drug to be a powerful euphoric drug. As one Reddit user remarked, 5-MAPB is a very powerful drug that offers an effective alternative to MDMA.
The U.K. Darknet Drug Craze
Reportedly, U.K. drug consumers rely heavily on darknet markets for the purchase of narcotics. Considering that Johnson bought his stash online, it is likely that the man formed a portion of this statistic by regularly procuring drugs via the dark web.
In the same token, a 2014 British Drugs Survey illustrated that darknet markets are mostly used for buying drugs for personal use and for resale. A shocking 45 percent of drug dealers have bought their drugs from online marketplaces.
In reference to the James Johnson case, the fact that his assortment of narcotics was meant for supplying the drug market adds more weight to the existing wealth of information on drug use.
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