BITCOIN BUST: The internet drug purchase fail

A teenager who bought cannabis on the dark web with bitcoin was busted by police after the drugs were intercepted at Brisbane Airport.

Koby Lee Dance-Watson, now 20, supplied cannabis over an eight-month period to 14 customers from July 1, 2018 to February 26, 2019.

The Townsville District Court heard Dance-Watson's drug business unravelled when he purchased two pounds of cannabis for $5000 on the dark web using bitcoin. On February 19 last year, police intercepted the parcel addressed in a fictitious name to Dance-Watson's mother's residence.

Police conducted a search warrant at the residence on February 25 last year. The court heard police found cash, a vacuum seal machine, digital scales, an electric grinder and a small amount of cannabis.

An analysis of Dance-Watson's mobile phone uncovered messages offering to supply cannabis.

The supplies ranged in quantity from 1g up to 114g for $1000, the court heard.

Crown prosecutor Andrew Lowrie said other messages uncovered on Dance-Watson's mobile phone revealed he had lost $18,000 at the casino.

He pleaded guilty to trafficking in dangerous drugs and 10 counts of supplying schedule 2 dangerous drugs.

Koby Lee Dance-Watson was sentenced to two and a half years' jail with immediate parole for trafficking in dangerous drugs.
Koby Lee Dance-Watson was sentenced to two and a half years' jail with immediate parole for trafficking in dangerous drugs.

Defence barrister Dane Marley told Judge Gregory Lynham his client started using cannabis when he was 15 years old and had an unstable upbringing. "The reason Mr Dance-Watson doesn't have contact with his mother anymore is ­because she herself is a drug user," he said.

"So he grew up in an environment surrounded by drugs and to some degree it was normalised to see drugs being used, including both cannabis and methamphetamine."

Mr Marley said Dance-Watson was now working full-time but had been unemployed at the time of the ­trafficking after losing his job at Subway.

Judge Lynham told Dance-Watson his business was "not low-level offending".

"Trafficking is the most dangerous drug offence that someone can be charged with," he said. "The moment you embarked upon sourcing over the dark web relatively large quantities of cannabis, you were embarking down a very dangerous road."

Dance-Watson was sentenced to 2½ years' jail for trafficking dangerous drugs.

Judge Lynham said it was a "finely balanced" decision to grant the 20-year-old immediate parole due to his young age and lack of criminal history.

Originally published as BITCOIN BUST: The internet drug purchase fail


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