A cybersecurity student received a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to importing and reselling a wide variety of drugs he purchased through the darkweb.
According to reports from local media outlets, 21-year-old Vincenzo Granato of Swindon ran a drug trafficking operation for at least six months in 2020. Granato allegedly imported drugs he had purchased from vendors on the darkweb and resold them for profit.
Granato’s drug trafficking operation came to the attention of law enforcement after customs officers intercepted a suspicious incoming package at Heathrow Airport in January 2020. The package was addressed to the house owned by Granato’s parents and contained pills of an undisclosed variety.
After six months of investigations, the police executed a search warrant at his parents’ house. The search resulted in the seizure of 250 tablets of 2C-B, 115 tablets of MDMA, 39 tabs of LSD, 0.45 grams of cocaine, 154 Xanax pills, 54.3 grams of cannabis, and 25 clonazolam pills. The officers also seized electronic devices and more than £3,000 in cash.
Granato pleaded guilty to 10 charges of drug trafficking offenses on January 21, 2022.
Granato appeared before Judge James Townsend at the Swindon Crown Court for sentencing. Before issuing the sentence, Judge Townsend said that the fact that Granato had changed his ways since his arrest and was about to get a first-class degree had driven him into issuing a suspended sentence.
Judge James Townsend made some reasonable points:
“I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s in the public interest that the sentence should be suspended. All the factors in your favor that I have mentioned would never be available to you again if you were caught drug dealing; it would be straight inside for a very long time, but what I have learned about you is that you are determined it will never happen again.”
Granato was sentenced to two years in prison suspended for two years.
The judge again on the topic of sentences outside the sentencing guidelines:
“The question is, does the court take those guidelines as a full stop, or does it say there are occasions and what do we gain by putting a person like this in prison? This boy has already sorted himself out, and he is on course to a productive, useful, energetic life, which is what we want all young people to aspire to, and importantly what the criminal justice system has always inspired to.”