Cody Ronald Ward, 26, pleaded responsible in Sydney District Court to importing and supplying business portions of prohibited medication. The  26-year previous was raking in 1000’s of {dollars} a day promoting medication on the darkish internet has informed a court docket he “didn’t take it very seriously” and “used to role play as a drug trafficker” on video video games as an adolescent.

At his sentence listening to earlier than Judge Robyn Tupman on Thursday, Ward mentioned he expects to remain in jail for “a large chunk” of his life.

 

Judge Robyn Tupman

 

“The entire thing was naive, immature stupidity,” he mentioned.

He was arrested in February 2019 because the mastermind of a drug syndicate police allege had traded as much as  in $17 million of medication together with MDMA, ecstasy, LSD and amphetamines.

“When I was 17, I used to role play as a drug trafficker and drug supplier,” Ward, from the “very small” city of Callala Bay on the south coast, he mentioned.

Ward’s rental dwelling on the NSW south coast. Picture: NSW Police

“I used to get very involved in role play games where you would get deeply involved into a character like you would as an actor. “It (the offending) felt very similar but instead of being rich in a game, you earn money in real life.”

Appearing by way of video hyperlink, Ward mentioned he began promoting medication on the darkish internet round 2015 and had a gross earnings of “thousands a day”. “I was fascinated about the cryptocurrency, and obviously what went hand-in-hand (at the time) … was the drug marketplaces,” he mentioned.

He informed the court docket….

“You would have access to then list drugs, receive orders and mark them as sent and so forth,” he mentioned.
“Marketplaces come and go. They would final one yr or two years.
“You would move as the websites get taken down, either as the owners would perform exit schemes or the police take the websites down.”
But the consequence was like a “hydra effect”, he mentioned, referencing the Greek legend of the Lernaean Hydra monster.
“You cut the head off, nine more (marketplaces) pop up,” Ward mentioned.

His co-offenders, 24-year-old Shanese Koullias and her sister Patricia Koullias, 22, are additionally awaiting sentencing for their roles in the syndicate together with supplying prohibited medication.

Judge Tupman mentioned images of the trio revealed within the media after their arrests made them appear to be that they had been “living the high life” and the ladies seemed to be “some high-profile socialite sort of person”.

Ward informed the court docket he was “quite severely” bullied in school, agreeing along with his barrister Kieran Ginges’ suggestion he had been “obese” and a “social outcast”.

“In real life I was a loser, nobody, no one cared to talk to me, everyone just looked down on me,” he mentioned.
“Online, everybody seemed as much as me, everybody wished to speak to me.“

He mentioned he had one or two mates, earlier than he began utilizing and dealing medication, and has “always had a crush” on Shanese Koullias. “We were best friends growing up,” he mentioned on Thursday. “She supported me through things and I supported her through things.”

Ward mentioned he would ship Koullias the “distribution ledger” after taking care of all of the administration – orders, buyer help and accounting.

The 26-year-old was “significantly addicted to heroin” when he was caught, based on a report from forensic psychiatrist Dr Stephen Allnutt. “I was completely drug f***ed,” Ward mentioned, including that it led to loads of “mistakes”.

Asked underneath cross-examination how he had maintained his 4.94-star score on the Dream Market darknet market if he was so “drug addled”, Ward mentioned he typically refunded prospects, resolved their points or compensated them with extra medication earlier than they left any destructive suggestions.

NSW additionally Police seized a Maserati and a Mercedes Benz on the time of Ward’s arrest.

Judge Tupman requested on Thursday: “Did some news articles connected with your arrest show pictures of you with high-powered sports cars?”

“Yes, correct,” Ward replied.

He mentioned he had traded in bitcoin however “cashed out and bought a shiny car”, being the $70,000 Mercedes Benz, and likewise had a 2002 mannequin Mitsubishi EVO which price $15,000.

However, the Maserati had set him again a fraction of its common worth as a result of it was not registered and a statutory write-off.

Mr Ginges requested: “You had a Maserati that sounds very fancy but it was only $7000?”

“Correct,” Ward replied.

He admitted one {photograph} with a McLaren was him standing subsequent to

“a car I just saw in a car park”.

 

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