Luke Goscombe, a computer wizard who was in the illegal act importing huge amounts of cannabis from Canada has avoided jail, even though it appears that he supplied part of the drugs to other people.
Luke, who works a Tyning Crescent in Slimbridge as an IT technical support worker, admitted to smuggling cannabis into the UK. He was handed a suspended eight months jail sentence alongside 100 hours of unpaid work in the form of community service.
Caighli Taylor, the prosecutor told the court that, the UK border agency on the 25th of August 2016, intercepted a parcel coming from Canada which was making its way to Goscombe. Upon opening the intercepted package, they found about 140 grams of flowering cannabis which was worth £1,140.
Shortly after, on the 19th of September, another parcel was again intercepted which looked indistinguishable from the one intercepted earlier that year. That package also contained cannabis which was worth £1,170. This series of busts led to the raiding and searching of Goscombe’s home on the 10th of November last year.
The results were the discovery of a cannabis plant, 6.6 grams of cannabis, digital scales and zip lock bags by the police. Upon interrogation, Goscombe stated that the cannabis was meant just for his personal use as he admitted to occasionally using cannabis and not for anyone or anything else. He said nothing on the two intercepted packages when asked about them.
Police then examined his phone which revealed that he had ordered the goods to Canada from the darknet.
“Texts indicated he was supplying cannabis to others,” the prosecutor stated.
She went ahead to quote texts which showed Goscombe informing some people that the parcels had arrived. Other messages also stated that some parcels were missing and made comments about customs “cracking down” on those packages.
Ms. Taylor also made references to texts involving Goscombe and an unknown man named George, who had plans in place for purchasing cannabis from Goscombe. He was willing to order as much as four ounces which at that time was worth £600. Ms. Taylor then added that Goscombe had no records of previous convictions.
Defending Goscombe was David Mitchell, who stated that: “He was a regular cannabis user and he acknowledges it had become a problem for him. Initially, he was doing this to get cannabis for himself at a much-reduced cost. He now acknowledges that flouting the law in this way is not acceptable.”
Ordering cannabis from any darknet marketplace seems to be the latest trend of acquiring these illegal drugs in the UK. And to make this issue more concerning, it happens that, most of the cannabis bought via the dark web are being smuggled into the UK from Canada.
In August this year, a man from Midland tried to smuggle cannabis which he hid in a parcel of toys into the UK. The 33-year-old dad, a native of Leamington Spa, admitted to importing cannabis and possessing a quantity of the drug.
Court reports revealed that Plasterer Jake Brown, had purchased about 727 grams of marijuana on the dark web. Similar to Goscombe’s case, a parcel which was said to contain a toy set, addressed to him was intercepted by customs officers and after examining it found the drugs.
Brown was also in possession of 50 grams of cannabis, which he admitted was for his own use when he was arrested.
He also was given a 10-month prison sentence, suspended for two years as well as 250 hours of unpaid work. He then needed to observe a 7pm to the 6am curfew for three months.
Stephen Eyre, the judge who sat on his case after the verdict then made some statements to Brown:
“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,” he said. “There must have been a significant degree of sales to your friends because scales and dealer bags were found, and the supply of cheap cannabis was therefore increased,” he added.
Goscombe’s job was however available to him even though his employers and colleagues expressed their disappointment by his behavior, Mr. Mitchell stated.
He won the apprentice of the year award in 2016 with a lot of potential, he added.
Judge Michael Harington also stated that he had taken into consideration the glowing endorsement from Goscombe’s boss and that played a major role in his decision not to jail him.
“But you must understand that this sort of offense is extremely serious and will more often than not attract an immediate custodial sentence,” the judge concluded.