A Swindon Crown Court judge Sentenced a former chef to a two year suspended sentence for marijuana importation and intent to distribute marijuana. The man, once a resident of Warwick Close, purchased thousands of pounds worth of marijuana from vendors on the Dream Marketplace. He tried marijuana from the streets of Chippenham but disliked its low quality.
Richard Blong, the defendant, explained that he learned about ordering drugs from the internet through a TV show. He found that he could purchase marijuana from Canada by simply ordering from dealers on darknet marketplaces. The quality was far superior to street marijuana and helped his mental illnesses.
He explained that he suffered from depression amongst other mental illnesses; the marijuana helped him cope. After his arrest, he stopped smoking and cooperated with police. He also moved to Gravesend, Kent.
The prosecution, Tessa Hingston, told the court that Border Agency officers intercepted two separate packages of marijuana. Both were inbound and addressed to Mr. Blong. The first package contained 140 grams of the plant and the second contained 300 grams.
Officers searched his house after the package seizures and found paraphernalia and more marijuana. They found scales and zip-lock bags that ultimately caused the intent to supply charge. After officers asked him about the items, he explained that he sold to his friends. “He would bag it up and deliver it to them. He would sometimes sell small bags for £10-£20 and sometimes larger ones for £100,” Hingston said.
Blong told the authorities that he spent £2,000 on marijuana but paid in Bitcoin. She pointed out that he was not a kingpin—that he only sold half of what he ordered.
The defendant’s legal counsel explained that his client had suffered from mental illnesses for years. He used the marijuana as a form of stuff medication, Peter Binder, Blong’s attorney pointed out. The mental health issues caused him to struggle in life; he was not able to continue working as a chef and lost the job. He then had to move back in with his mother.
“Importing drugs is a serious offence and you imported quite a large quantity,” Alastair Malcolm QC said. “You have also been dealing in cannabis. This is the first time you have been before the court. I have taken the view it is not necessary to send you directly to prison today.”
Alastair Malcolm QC sentenced Richard Blong to nine months in jail with a two year suspended sentence and 25 days of court ordered rehabilitation.