Drug deal uses the dark web

A MILDURA man added to the enrichment of organised criminals around the world when he bought steroids, methamphetamine and ­cannabis using the dark web, a court has been told.

Mildura Magistrates’ Court yesterday heard 32-year-old Dimitrios Palbas bought the drugs online during 2017 and last year because it was safer and cheaper than buying them locally.

However, some of the ­international packages, ­add­ressed to Palbas’ Mil­dura home, were intercepted by Australian Border Force ­at Melbourne Airport.

The court was told the packages were sent from overseas destinations including Lithuania and Berlin and included steroids and amphetamines, while other items addressed to Palbas were placed “on hold” at the airport.

In June last year, police intercepted a package addressed to Palbas containing a small amount of cannabis and he was arrested last month on unrelated matters.

Defence counsel Peter Delorenzo said his client had substance abuse issues since his teenage years and had moved from using cannabis and ecstasy to methamphetamines on a daily basis.

Mr Delorenzo said that while the offending was serious, it was conceded by the prosecution that the drugs were for his own use.

Magistrate Gerard Lethbridge said it was very fortunate that Palbas’ offending did not involve particularly large or significant quantities of drugs.

However, Mr Lethbridge said his criminality supported organised crime, which made it “a very serious matter”.

The magistrate said the method by which Palbas obtained the drugs and his prior convictions for trafficking methamphetamine and possessing illicit drugs meant a term of imprisonment was warranted.

On charges of importing and attempting to import a border controlled drug, Palbas was sentenced to three months’ jail on two years’ recognisance.

He was also fined $1000 as well as a further $1500 on charges of breaching bail and committing offences while on bail.

He remains in custody on unrelated charges.

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