Cleaner used en­cryp­tion app to buy drugs

Kwinana Courier - - News -

A MAN who used en­cryp­tion apps to ac­cess the dark web to buy metham­phetamine has nar­rowly avoided a prison term.

Daniel John Smith ap­peared at Rock­ing­ham Mag­is­trates court where he pleaded guilty to at­tempt­ing to pos­sess pro­hib­ited drugs with in­tent to sell or sup­ply, pos­sess­ing cannabis, pos­sess­ing drug para­pher­na­lia and pos­ses­sion of stolen or un­law­fully ob­tained prop­erty.

The prose­cu­tor said Smith used an app to pur­chase 3.5g of metham­phetamine.

On Au­gust 29 last year, Smith used an app to en­crypt texts he sent to a sup­plier on the dark web to place an or­der for 3.5grams of meth.

Three days later, a pack­age ad­dressed to Daniel John Smith was in­ter­cepted by police at the Aus­tralia Post mail centre, who opened it, took out the meth and re­placed it with an in­ert sub­stance.

It was then repack­aged and sent on to Smith’s ad­dress.

Shortly after it ar­rived, police ex­e­cuted a drugs search war­rant and found the pack­age in a bed­room.

They also found 10 di­azepam tablets and zolpi­dem, sleep­ing tablets, that Smith did not have a pre­scrip­tion for.

Smith’s lawyer said the facts were ac­cepted in full.

She said her client worked as a high­pres­sure wa­ter cleaner and from 2015, due to the min­ing down­turn, he would some­times go up to a month with­out work and was afraid he would lose ev­ery­thing he had worked hard for.

She said he knew it was not the way to deal with things and he did not have a prior crim­i­nal record.

She said Smith was ex­tremely re­morse­ful and did have treat­ment needs.

Mag­is­trate Leanne Atkins said there was a great deal of plan­ning.

“You went to a great deal of ef­fort to ob­tain drugs by us­ing en­crypted web browsers to ac­cess the dark web and se­cure an or­der,” she said.

“It shows pre-plan­ning on your be­half and that gives me cause for con­cern.

“Meth is a scourge on our so­ci­ety; the only ap­pro­pri­ate sen­tence is im­pris­on­ment but that will be sus­pended.”

She gave him a sus­pended im­pris­on­ment term of eight months sus­pended for 18 months along with an 18-month com­mu­nity-based or­der with urine anal­y­sis, pro­grams and coun­selling.

Mag­is­trate Leanne Atkins said meth was a scourge on so­ci­ety.

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