In September 2016, Canadian Customs intercepted an outbound package filled with marijuana. The customs declaration on the package indicated the package contained a child’s toy set. And in a way, it had contained toys. However, despite being disguised hidden within the toy set, Customs officers successfully located 727 grams of marijuana in the package.
Canadian authorities relayed this to the concerned agencies in the UK. They identified the package’s declared recipient: Jake Brown, a 33-year-old father living in Leamington Spa. Prosecutor Alexandra Kettle-Williams, the case prosecutor explained, that Brown had bought the “£700 [$900 but they later referred to street sales] worth of cannabis” from a Canadian vendor on a darknet marketplace.
During his arrest, UK police found the 33-year-old in possession of another 50 grams of cannabis. He admitted the 50 grams were for personal use. However, he explained, that he also sold marijuana to his friends. That, along with some for personal use, was what he had intended the 727 grams for, he told authorities. The police also found a scale and bags at the man’s home. Judge Stephen Eyre QC found the distribution the worst of the crimes.
“I have to sentence you for the importation of cannabis you obtained using the dark web. You used it yourself and you sold it to your friends. There must have been a significant degree of sale to your friends, because scales and dealer bags were found, and the supply of cheap cannabis was therefore increased. This offence involves deliberate defiance of the law, and this is at the upper end of significant role.”
The defense, Tom Schofield, argued on Brown’s behalf regarding the personal use. The attorney explained that Brown had struggled with a cannabis addiction. He had, as of the court date, managed a period of four months of sobriety. At his own decision, Brown had checked himself into a addiction treatment clinic.
Judge Eyre gave Brown a mild sentence of 10 months in prison. And an even milder one “against [Eyre’s] better judgement, and by the skin of [Brown’s] teeth. “You have previous convictions only for driving with excess alcohol and associated matters, and you have a good work record and have acted responsibly towards your child,” the Judge pointed out. “I also take account of the fact that you have got yourself clear of the use of cannabis.” He continued, “that allows me to reduce the sentence, and I can reduce it further because of your plea.” Brown’s admission of guilt, lack of drug related criminal offenses, and clean track record as a father influenced Judge Eyre’s decision.
“Rather against my better judgement, and by the skin of your teeth, I have decided I can suspend it,” the Judge added, followed by a warning. Brown received ten months in prison, suspended upon two years of successful completion of 250 hours of community service and a curfew of 7pm-6am. The curfew only applies to the three months following the court date. Afterwards, all that remains will be the community service.