On December 29, 2015, Liam Tomas Yemm hid MDMA inside a makeup bag in his car. Later on, at the yearly Falls Festival, drug dogs hit on his vehicle and subsequently found the MDMA. He admitted that the MDMA came from the darknet—on Nucleus—and that he purchased it with Bitcoin. A thorough sweep of his car yielded further incriminating evidence: a scale, gelatin capsules, and plastic bags.
Yemm, nearly a year later, pleaded guilty to drug possession charges. The Hobart Magistrates Court heard the prosecution explain that the dogs hit on Yemm’s vehicle, resulting in a search of the man’s car. In the car, officers found there evidence required to charge Yemm with conspiracy to distribute. The drugs, scales, and capsules finalized that.
Yet, later on, the courtroom heard even more incriminating content. After police arrested the 20-year-old from Sandy Bay, he admitted his entire scheme. He told officers that he ordered the MDMA off the now-defunct Nucleus darknet market. Then, police reported that Yemm revealed the location of a P.O. Box in South Hobart where drugs arrived from overseas. He purchased the MDMA to encapsulate; he planned to fill each capsule with .1g MDMA (aka “a point”). The prepared capsules, he said, cost $30 per capsule.
Three months after the December 29 indecent, Yemm’s case took another turn. March 1, 2016, the Mornington Mail Center forwarded a package to the police. Reports are unclear regarding the post office and if the post office knew the package belonged to the suspect. They described it, however, as a suspicious Express Post package. Police opened the package and found 180 capsules of an unnamed drug. Likely MDMA based on the police’s next finding.
On the day after opening Yemm’s package, the police visited the suspect’s address. They found two more Express Post packages in the letterbox. One package contained more MDMA and there other contained 100 LSD tabs. In the courtroom, Yemm’s defense blamed the behavior as “youthful indiscretions” and that he only sold to his friends—after they requested it.
Darknet-linked busts routinely make headlines in Australia. Especially after Operation Hyperion. According to ABF Assistant Commissioner Strategic Border Command, Clive Murray, “the ABF and our partner agencies are well aware of Darknet websites and their use as a virtual trading venue for illicit goods.” He continued that “at some point, all goods sourced internationally must cross the border and the ABF has the capability to target and detect these goods – no matter what it is.”
Magistrate Reg Marron ordered a February 8 sentencing for Yemm.