ACT News

Canberra teen imported tens-of-thousands of dollars in drugs he bought online

A Canberra teen built a drug business worth tens-of-thousands of dollars by importing illicit substances and selling them to high school students and peers.

The teen, who cannot be named due to his youth, sold cannabis, MDMA, cocaine, and LSD worth tens-of-thousands of dollars over for about a year.

A police raid on his home in May located drugs, $14,035 in cash, and paraphernalia, including scales.

The ACT Supreme Court heard the 17-year-old started by buying and selling cannabis at school.

He was so successful that he expanded his business to hard drugs, which he imported into Australia from overseas.

Court documents said the teen would order the drugs online and pay for the shipments with bitcoins, which he obtained via a bank account in his name.

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He would then have the drugs shipped to a PO Box in his name.

In total, he imported 64.4 grams of MDMA, 1.21 grams of cocaine, and one gram of LSD.

The court heard the intercepted drugs had been worth between $10,000 and $34,000.

The teen was also charged with trafficking 2.082 grams of MDMA, 0.27 grams of LSD, and 700 grams of cannabis.

The authorities detected the first shipment in September last year and watched as a further six packages arrived.

He pleaded guilty to charges of importing border controlled drugs, drug trafficking, and possession of proceeds of crime.

The court on Monday heard the teen had no criminal history and had been assessed as a low-risk of reoffending.

But a report said he had shown little insight into the effects of drugs on the buyers and the harm it caused the community.

A youth worker said a full-time jail sentence would impede his rehabilitation as it would force him to associate with other offenders.

Justice Richard Refshauge sentenced the teen to a total of four years jail, to be fully suspended upon entering a four year good behaviour order with a security of $100.

The judge noted the business had been both sophisticated and naive, as the teen had the drugs shipped to an address in his name and used his own mobile phone number.

Justice Refshauge told the offender that, as a judge, he saw the destructive nature of drugs every day in the form of wasted lives of users and the burden on the community.

The judge said the teen needed to understand the consequence of the drug trade on the community and on his own life.

"[Your offences are] a massive breach of criminality," he said.

"But one I'm confident you will put behind you."