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43-year-old Viliam ‘Bill’ Petkovski, an active user of the old Silk Road market faced the Geelong County Court on Monday. He pleaded guilty to importing dangerous drugs through the Darknet market to Geelong.
Petkovski had been a familiar suspect of the Darknet drug trade until his arrest, and it was revealed that he used the old Silk Road market to purchase a large quantity of MDMA and methylamphetamine.
According to the court, drugs were being delivered to the address of Petkovski and his friend Robert Stojanovski’s Geelong West home. In a way to hide his identity, he never used his real name in the address for the delivery.
The popular African adage; “99 days for the thief, one day for the police” was manifested in his arrest. He had been having successful deliveries until the Australia’s Federal Police intercepted his deliveries. This occurred in the period when the FBI was taking serious actions against the Silk Road marketplace in the year 2013-2014.
Petkovski was not only a buyer of the dangerous substance but also, a seller. He had a client whom he used to sell methamphetamine to, even though reports say that the client was not comfortable with that operation.
The drugs were delivered in various packages including a DVD cover, a computer hard drive and a packet of earphones according to the prosecutor, John Dickie. Despite the deceptive delivery packages, the Feds managed to intercept five packages and seized methamphetamine worth 58g, and 20g of MDMA.
The authorities have put a lot of strategies in place to arrest all drug traffickers and subject them to the icy hands of the law. Recently, the Australian authorities attributed the rise in organized crimes to the popularity of cryptocurrencies, and sought to regulate it to check crimes committed especially on the Darknet.
Robert Stojanovski had no other role in the drug distribution than receiving the substance in his address and passing it on to his friend. He was therefore recognized as a partner in crime.
How drugs are distributed to buyers through the Darknet is very common in terms of packaging.
Stojanovski used to receive parcels with deceptive packages but was fully aware of its content. It was said in the court that he received $100 after a successful delivery to friends.
The fact that few Darknet drug traffickers faced the consequences of their actions by the law in Australia made his judgment no exception.
During his arrest, authorities seized over $10,000 cash from Petkovski suspected to be a profit earned from his illicit trade, and this aided in the investigation.
He pleaded guilty to importing a marketable quantity of a border-controlled drug and possessing methylamphetamine.
Judge Hample gave him a two and a half year suspension. However, the defense lawyer of the suspect, Chris Pearson raised a case against the suspension of his client. Pearson cited his client’s rehabilitation since his committed offense and also, being a carer to his eight-year-old child.
Mr. Dickie said “The only appropriate sentence option is one requiring immediate imprisonment. Great social consequences flow from the importation of border-controlled drugs into Australia.” His argument was therefore overruled.
The argument raised at the court was that Mr. Petkovski committed those crimes while he was still a caregiver, but he has changed his ways to live without these illegal activities in the last two and a half years.
Their defense proved not to be convincing enough as he will be sentenced on Thursday.
Brief Enlightenment of Australia Law against Drug Importation in Darknet Trade
Darknet use has increased over time in Australia, and the frequency of illicit drug importation into the country makes people think there are no regulations against drug importation in the country. With respect to the increasing crime, the authorities have established a new Task Force to monitor and arrest all Darknet criminals. The New Task Force recently busted an Australian drug vendor in Sydney.
Australia emerged as the country with more Darknet drug vendors behind the Netherlands, according to the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association Conference.
The association revealed that Australia Darknet dealers facilitated 27.1% of the world Darknet methamphetamine trade. Drugs in the country seem to be high which also encourages producers to sell more, hence fulfilling the basic principle of economics.
The section 307 of the criminal act code underlines the importation of controlled substances into the country as an offense.
The Australian law recognizes the entry of drugs within or at the border as an importation. Importation of commercial quantity of drugs into the country warrants a life in prison penalty, while the importation of marketable quantities warrants 25 years in jail. There are other penalties for the importation of lesser quantities too.
Petkovski is likely to face up to 25 years in jail.