In September 2016, Australia’s Townsville Drug Squad arrested a 17-year-old Lachlan Thomas Weirick for the suspected importation of large quantities of drugs from darknet market vendors. During execution of the search warrant at the man’s house, Townsville police reportedly found more than $60,000 worth of various illegal substances. Roughly 15 months later, at the Supreme Court hearing in Townsville, Justice David North sentenced the man to four years in prison. Since the defendant had already spent 230 days in jail, the judge suspended the remainder of the sentence.
Crown prosecutor Shannon Sutherland told the court that Weirick—now 18-years-old—had likely distributed illegal drugs for “a long time” prior to his arrest. Investigators had gathered enough evidence to prove that the Townsville teenager had redistributed darknet drugs for a minimum of one year. However, he may have sourced and resold local drugs prior to turning to the darknet.
Officer-in-charge of the Townsville Drug Squad, detective Senior Sergeant Mick Walker, said that officers seized LSD, mushrooms, cannabis, prescription drugs, and MDMA at the suspect’s house. He claimed, at the time of the arrest, that Weirick had likely purchased the drugs from someone on the darknet–vs. from a dealer on the street. “Police will allege the man was sourcing drugs over the dark web and it was sent to him,” Sen-Sgt Walker said. “Whether it has been coming in internationally or locally, we are still investigating. We have asked Border Force for some assistance there, but that will play (its) part in ongoing investigations.”
Sutherland, during the sentencing hearing, told the court that Weirick had made $24,200 profit during the seven months leading up to his arrest. The prosecutor also detailed the drugs found in the teenager’s family home: 780 grams of marijuana, 48 grams of MDMA, 152 LSD tabs, and psilocybin mushrooms. During an interview police directly after the arrest, Weirick told officers that he sold “just about everything” in order to pay for trips to hotels and video games.
Shortly after his arrest, the dealer made bail. He continued to distribute drugs while waiting for his hearing. On February 22 of this year, Australian police officers caught him with bags of marijuana underneath his clothing. His second attempt of post-arrest drug trafficking led to the termination of the bail agreements. He had ordered a package of 201 MDMA pills to his family home. The teenager had requested that the vendor ship the pills to the address and use the name of his stepmother who did not live at the address. Other family member saw the package and called the police.
The defense barrister Harvey Walters said that his client had sourced drugs from the darknet to numb his pain from the damage caused during a fight at a social gathering. Weirick received pain medication after the event, but ran out sooner than he had hoped. Weirick pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and drug importation at an earlier court date. Justice David North told the defendant that he had organized a “serious, sophisticated and audacious” operation. “If you turned your mind to legitimate entrepreneurial activities you could make a future for yourself,” the judge added. Weirick received a four year prison sentence, suspended upon time served and 41 months without incident.