An Australian man was sentenced to eight months in prison after pleading guilty to attempting to import drugs into Australia via darkweb markets.
Over a period of nine months between May 2018 and February 2019, Thomas Nickless, 27, ordered at least 15 packages of drugs from sources on the darkweb. Australian Border Force seized five packages. The suppliers of the drugs had shipped the packages from the United Kingdom as well as from the Netherlands.
In total, the packages contained:
- 61 grams of MDMA;
- 9.8 grams of cocaine;
- 35.3 grams of amphetamines
Nickless told the police that he had ordered drugs between 10 and 15 times but that the packages had only arrived ten times. He admitted using cryptocurrency to purchase the drugs on the darkweb.
“The attempted importations were part of your small-scale business to bring drugs into Australia by post, pick them up at the Metung post office, use them yourself and sell small amounts to friends and acquaintances,” Judge Gerard Mullaly said during the sentencing hearing.
One month after the final package seizure by the Border Force, the police raided Nickless’ house in Metung. During the search of the house, the police found ecstasy, ketamine, Xanax, and cannabis plants.
Nickless pleaded guilty to attempting to import a border-controlled drug, drug possession, and drug trafficking. He received a prison sentence of two years. The judge, however, had said that he had “anxiously weighed up” sentencing options to find an outcome that did not result in the loss of Nickless’ full time job. The offenses ultimately proved too serious for a non-custodial offense, according to the judge.
Nickless will only need to serve eight months of his two-year prison sentence.