Not yet a week after his order from a darknet market, a self-proclaimed French business leader landed in police custody for drug possession. Customs and La Poste, the largest mail delivery service in France, intercepted a package of 300 grams of amphetamine. The package seizure allowed for a search of the man’s home, ultimately resulting in yet another drug related arrest. The prosecution reminded the court that the defendant has been repeatedly summoned on drug charges, dating as far back as 2005.
La Poste works with Customs to stop the flow of illegal mail into the Lorraine region, and elsewhere, through a massive warehouse in Saint-Gibrien. Parcels arrive at the warehouse where they sit for 24-hours, pending possible inspection. Afterwards, clean packages or packages that Customs missed get placed back into the mail stream for normal delivery. Customs, in 2016, intercepted a grand total of 47,000 parcels in the region. The items included counterfeit products and drugs, and depending on the offender, the quantity of seized items, or drug weight, Customs can either impose a fine on the recipient or press charges. And in this scenario, in early July, the government proceeded with the harsher route.
During the house search, law enforcement located cannabis and even more amphetamine. The total quantity surpassed the court’s opinion of a “personal consumption” weight of drugs. But the unnamed defendant claimed the amphetamine (and cannabis) were indeed for personal consumption. He argued that the drug helped him “stay on course” with respect to his busy life. The defendant was responsible for his eight year old daughter and he still worked full-time. “Every day, I work from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm, I need that to keep up, I wanted to stock up for the year,” he said.
“He ordered the drug as we order a pizza,” the prosecutor informed the Lorraine judge. “For years, the warnings from the judicial system [were ignored by] the defendant.” Furthermore, the prosecutor explained, 300 grams of amphetamine indicated possible drug trafficking. He called the weight an “enormous amount.” In light of the years of grace from the courts, the prosecutor requested 12 months in prison.
Weeks before the arrest, the defendant received notice to appear before a judge in November for unrelated drug charges. Ludovic Mourgue, presiding, could not believe the audacity displayed by the man before him. “You were summoned,” the judge expressed, “and yet you are buying drugs?”
In spite of the court’s disbelief and the prosecution’s cry for a harsh sentencing, only a mild sentence was handed down. The defendant received a sentence of three months imprisonment—suspended upon completion of 18 months of probation—and a fine of $2,900.