‘Dark web’ drug buyer caught out at post office

DRUG dealers who buy bulk quantities of illegal drugs on the so-called "dark web" are not the "highly sophisticated" cyber crims they think they are, and are somewhere closer to "amateur hour" suburban crooks, a court has heard.

Jesse McMahon, 25, of Driver, pleaded guilty to a string of drug and weapons charges on Friday, becoming the latest in a growing number of drug dealers in court after being busted by police buying drugs online using the crypto-currency Bitcoin.

McMahon has been behind bars since his arrest in June, when police at the Winnellie post office found a parcel with nearly 2kg of cannabis on its way to McMahon's unit.

A sting the next day saw police seize $9000 in cash, the cryovac bags of cannabis, more loose cannabis and seven sets of knuckledusters.

McMahon, who will be back in court today where Chief Justice Michael Grant is set to send him to rehab, told police in an interview he planned to sell the drugs by the ounce and half ounce, and would likely have made $30,000.

Chief Justice Grant on Friday said drugs dealers who bought drugs over the internet were "in some ways it's sophisticated ... in other ways it's naive".

"It's coming through Winnellie Post Office, all they have to do is wait there with a police dog," he said.

Chief Justice Grant said he was seeing "more and more of this dark web stuff".

"I had a fellow a few weeks ago that was actually going down and complaining his delivery was late and registering complaints on the Australia Post website," he said.

Prosecutor Daniel Warner-Collins said ordering drugs through the mail was "probably somewhere in between" being "highly sophisticated" and "amateur hour".

He said the amount of drug deliveries coming in by post had "exponentially grown".

"In this day and age anyone can purchase cannabis, it appears, without leaving their room. That is, ordering it, paying for it and receiving it," he said.

The seven sets of knuckledusters police found at McMahon's house, Mr Warner-Collins said, were "more on a collector type basis" than when weapons are usually found with drugs.



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