Individuals believed the Silk Road to be a safe spot to conduct drug transactions when it launched in 2011. Before the site shut down in 2013, law enforcement made several arrests tied directly to Silk Road deals. One in particular stands out: the first arrest of a Silk Road vendor.
In 2012, Australian Federal Police (AFP) arrested Paul Howard aka “shadh1.” Only few details were known about the actual case. Outside of his local precinct, the public only knew of the drugs and the charges placed against him. The county court of Victoria released court documents pertaining to Howard’s case and some of the details stand out. The the AFP’s investigation was espescially unique.
Between March 2012 to June 2012, Australia’s Customs and Border Protection Service intercepted 12 mail packages addressed to the home of Howard and his wife. The packs contained MDMA in both pill and powder form. Drugs were disguised in items like a DVD case, piece of card, and a cigarette lighter.
Customs continued to intercept packages and seize them for evidence. None of the seized packages made it to Howard. However, undelivered packs did not stop Howard from making more orders, the court document explained. Some orders were