Some drugs carry a reputation for being “darknet drugs.” Although the darknet catches blame for carfentanil, various ecstasy presses are the real darknet drug. An Australian court recently heard the case of a darknet drug buyer who had been caught with ecstasy pills with the logo of an internationally famous television show.
Bundaberg Magistrates Court heard how 20-year-old Lachlan Allbon had ordered ecstasy pills from darknet markets, in bulk, to feed his own addiction. The ecstasy pills were not necessarily unusual pills for someone in Australia to have, even though the producer had pressed the pills with the Masterchef logo. Masterchef-pressed ecstasy pills are not quite uncommon on the darknet. And not at all in Australia.
The “Top Markets” list currently has four markets. Dream market, The Trade Route, T•chka Free Market, and Wall Street Market. Trade Route, one of the most popular darknet markets on that list, is home to a certain Australian vendor. The vendor sells the only MasterChef ecstasy pills on the market. And he only sells the pills to buyers within Australia.
As I needed to look it up, a description of the show is overdue. It has no relevance to the pills and little relevance to the story, but the name shows up too many times to ignore it. MasterChef is a reality cooking show that gets produced in more than 40 countries. In Australia, the show is incredibly popular. MasterChef Australia is additionally broadcast in many countries, with potentially closer-to-home versions.
Only customers in Australia can buy the pills. And given that a vendor of a unique press often presses their own pills, they likely get produced in Australia too. And they circulate Australia, per a 2015 Pillreports post. The 20-year-old defendant, despite routinely buying in bulk, avoided distribution charges. “He says he was buying in bulk off the dark web for his own use,” Prosecutor Senior Constable Grant Klaassen said.
Police caught Allbon with 30 MasterChef pills. He had told the police that he took four pills daily. In December 2016, Allbon received a two year probation sentence for dangerous drug charges. Although he pleaded guilty to the new drug charges linked to cannabis and MDMA possession, both in violation of his prior probation sentence, Allbon asked for leniency because his family enjoyed traveling.
As unlikely as it sounded, Magistrate Belinda Merrin granted Allbon his wish. No record was recorded. Allbon must serve an additional 12-months on probation. “It is very important that you address your drug use. You accept you have polysubstance drug abuse issues and have other health conditions,” Magistrate Merrin said.