A student at Dublin City University (DCU) faculty of sports science, who fled from the police in pajamas when they invaded his residence on campus, has avoided prison after admitting to dealing dark web drugs on campus.
Cian Charlton from Kilcun, Kiltimagh was, on November 15, 2017, caught with MDMA, ketamine, and cocaine after the Gardai raided his residence at the university. The police established that he had bought the drugs from the dark web using bitcoins and had them delivered to his residence via postal services.
The 21-year-old student pleaded guilty to several counts of charges involving procurement and possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute. According to documents presented by the prosecution at the Dublin Circuit District Court, Charlton was in possession of cocaine valued at €3,000 packed in small bags, 11 large packets of MDMA, £500 in cash, and 14 big and small packets of ketamine on the university premises which he intended to supply at Glasnevin, Hampstead House, North Dublin last year.
Keith Morris, the prosecuting Garda, told the presiding judge, Codd Pauline, that he and other Gardai had received classified information that Charlton had procured online drugs from the dark web. After obtaining a search warrant from the Dublin district court, Morris and the Ballymun Drugs Unit raided the suspect’s rented premises on November 15 last year. They seized drugs, two digital weighing scales, lists of names against values, and other drug paraphernalia, and they also observed Charlton running away in pajamas to avoid arrest.
Charlton told the court that he had bought the illicit drugs online from dark web marketplaces which he paid for using bitcoins but could not name the people who supplied him with the drugs. He also said that he ran away to avoid harassment by police in front of his peers.
In court, Judge Pauline highlighted some of the mitigating factors she considered in her decision, including taking an early plea as well as cooperating with the investigating agents. She also noted that Charlton had no previous record of conviction and had undergone counseling on drug abuse following the incident. “In my view, the defendant is sorry about his deeds and has shown positive efforts to rectify his situation. Charlton also comes from a decent and supportive family which is visibly upset about the incident,” she said.
James Dwyer reminded the court the defendant who was his client had been sanctioned by the university after pleading guilty and being suspended for one year from the university.
Charlton told the police that he was tempted to deal drugs due to the nature of his part-time job as a music DJ in clubs and the need to make money to fit in with the lifestyle of his peers in the university as he had grown up in the rural areas.
Taking all factors into account, Judge Pauline sentenced him to a one year fully suspended sentence on the condition that he maintains peace and good behavior as well as that he undertake a drug awareness course supervised by the probation services.
Dennis Charlton, his father, said he and his spouse, Geraldine, came to court to show solidarity for their son. He also told the court that their son had been remorseful about the offense. “It has been [a] difficult time for all of us in the family and [I] am glad he has realized that he caused it all,” said Mr. Charlton. “[I] am also proud on how my son has conducted himself, especially on engagements with the universities’ internal disciplinary requirements.”