20
Sun, Oct
22 New Articles

Achill man bought cannabis with bitcoin on dark web

News

A man found in possession of over €2,000 worth of cannabis bought it for his own use on ‘the dark web’.
That was what Judge Fiona Lydon was told at Achill District Court on Thursday last when Peadar Kowalski(28) of Lakeview House, Bunacurry, Achill was convicted of possession of the drug.
Inspector Denis Harrington told the court that on November 28, 2018 gardaí searched Lakeview House, Bunacurry, Achill and found 117.4 grams of cannabis. He said based on a value of cannabis at €20 per gram, this meant the drugs were worth €2,348.
He told Judge Fiona Lydon that there was no charge of the sale or supply of the drug, as would often be the case for such large amounts, as there was no evidence Mr Kowalski was dealing the drug.
Inspector Harrington said there was no evidence on his phone or physical evidence of weighing scales or ‘tick lists’.
Inspector Harrington said that when Kowalski was interviewed, he said he bought the drugs on ‘the dark web’ – an area of the internet only accessible using special software, allowing users and operators to remain anonymous and hard to trace – and paid for the cannabis with bitcoin.
Bitcoin is described as ‘a cryptocurrency’ and is a ‘decentralized digital currency without a central bank or single administrator that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries’.
He told gardaí the drugs were for his own use and he bought them online as he did not wish to interact with drug dealers.
Inspector Harrington said the Director of Public Prosecutions directed only a charge of simple possession – and not intent to sale or supply.
Defending solicitor James Ward said his client had been ‘fully co-operative’ with the gardaí and had taken steps since to stop using the drug, including getting urine analysis from his GP to demonstrate he was no longer using the drug. He also said his client works on a part-time basis and that he is ‘deeply regretful’ for his actions.
A testimonial by his employer was handed into Judge Lydon, who described it as ‘very positive’. She said the quantity of drugs seized was ‘a concern’ and said Mr Kowalski was suitable for assessment by the Probation Service.
The case was adjourned to January 9 next.

MPU Mayo