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New Zealander Convicted of Ordering Ecstasy from Darknet Marketplaces

According to Sunlive, a Tauranga, New Zealand man pleaded guilty to the importation of a Class B drug via a darknet marketplace. A Tauranga District Court judge convicted the 21-year-old based on the confessions he made to police and remanded him until the bail hearing in February. The Tauranga man, founded by his own confession, now faces a maximum sentencing of a lifetime in prison.

On Thursday, January 19, 2017, Ashley Brian Hillis appeared before Judge Thomas Ingram where he pleaded guilty. According to the Bay of Plenty Times, Hillis heard the statements he previously made to police officers after his arrest in late 2016. Hillis told investigators that he ordered the Class B drug, ecstasy, during a bad period in his life. He admitted that he “made a very foolish decision.” He reiterated that he intended to consume the ecstasy personally; no trafficking or similar charges applied.

Authorities testified that the 21-year-old Tauranga man started ordering ecstasy in August 2016. His first order came from the Netherlands and consisted of 10 grams of MDMA powder. Hillis explained that he doubted the shipment would ever arrive. When an “envelope of powder” arrived at his Welcome Bay home, Hillis consumed all of it, authorities stated.

He then made two more purchases from the same darknet site, the Bay of Plenty Times reported. Sunlive wrote that Hillis bought the ecstasy from “the Silk Road on the darknet,” but no other sources referenced the Silk Road. However, if the Tauranga resident only ordered between August 2016 and September 2016, he never used the original Silk Road. The only active “Silk Road” darknet marketplace on DeepDotWeb’s marketplace list is Silk Road 3. Moreover, about the “Silk Road” branding used by many markets, following the fall of the original; “we still believe that the Silk Road Brand is Dead. This market is not related to original Silk Road in any way. And this will most likely be the last iteration of Silk Road to get listed here, but should not be considered as any worse than any other market.”

That said, the Silk Road branding as the Silk Road 3 listing explained, created a false sense of security in several markets that quickly exit-scammed. The original Silk Road fell in 2013.

After the successful arrival of the first package, police explained, Hillis ordered twice more. He placed the second order towards the end of August 2016. The former suspect purchased ten ecstasy tablets for his second order, police said. Instead of the successful arrival, he hoped for; Customs intercepted the package. Customs officers seized the third (their second) package almost two weeks after the second package unsuccessfully landed.

The second shipment contained a significant quantity of MDMA or ecstasy, police said. Customs officers found 25 grams of powder and additional 50 ecstasy pills. Both packages seized by customs pointed to Ashley Brian Hillis; he ordered the packs under his real name and used his home address. Police subsequently arrested Hillis. He made a confession to officers and expressed his deep regret.

Judge Thomas Ingram convicted Hillis of the importation of ecstasy under the Misuse of Drugs Act—under which the maximum sentence is a lifetime in prison. Judge Ingram scheduled Hillis’s sentencing hearing for February 20, 2017.

4 comments

  1. lifetime for importing some pills? This pure madness.

    • REVOUSA

      and we have rapists and kiddie fiddlers getting let off Scot free…

      What if no one longer turned up to their courts or police stations? could they come for us all ?

  2. kill more pedos, and not more shops, this sucks realy

  3. The ONLY way of stopping these “have to know our business” turds from eavesdropping on everything we do is to come up with an iPad type communications device with proprietary hardware and software, with encryption so strong the worlds best hackers would die of old age before they cracked it! That, coupled with a self destruct mechanism, would put an end to government spying, eavesdropping, and intrusion, once and for all!! All you would need then is a wifi connection. Audio, video, and messaging. Phone no longer required! Spread the word to everyone, I would love to see a team of hardware and software geniuses put this device together! I’ll bet it would outsell Apple products by a wide margin!! Put me down for two of them, even at a couple grand a pop!!! Problem in privacy now is, government has back door access to EVERYTHING on the market! Please pass the idea along, time to put these snooping turds out of commission!!!

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