A Wollongong magistrate has commended a man on his efforts to rehabilitate himself after he was caught ordering illicit 'designer' drugs to his Keiraville home from overseas.
Michael Anthony Ralph was convicted and sentenced to a two-year Commonwealth recognizance order after pleading guilty in Wollongong Local Court to two charges of importing a border controlled drug (without commercial intent).
Last July, Ralph attended the Wollongong police station and admitted to buying the illegal substances on the dark web with cryptocurrency or by direct transfer.
But by that time, Australian Federal Police had already intercepted and confiscated more than 30 such parcels Ralph had ordered to his address or the local post office.
Ralph told detectives last year that he had a history of using such drugs as methcathinones, LSD, ketamine, and hallucinogenic substances.
He gave officers access to his phone and computer, which detectives said contained "significant dark web history", as well as screenshots of invoices and evidence of online drug purchases.
Ralph attended Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday, accompanied by his father, for sentencing.
The matter had been adjourned for Ralph to finalise a rehabilitation stint.
Defence lawyer Aaron Kernaghan submitted to the court that his client had shown a commitment to get his life back on track since last year, had made good on a previous court order, and had been accepted into university.
Mr Kernaghan said he had also worked hand-in-hand with a "very understanding" police officer to achieve the outcomes he had.
Magistrate Michael O'Brien said he was pleased to see Ralph had made positive changes to his life.
Magistrate O'Brien told Ralph that it took "courage and fortitude" to disengage from drugs, and he commended him on his efforts to do so.
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