First WA convictions for Silk Road trades

EXCLUSIVE Gary Adshead
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First WA convictions for Silk Road trades

Meeting: Liza Harvey and Rod Bridge. Picture: Mogens Johansen/The West Australian

Detectives investigating the clandestine drug dealing website Silk Road have secured their first convictions against West Australians who bought cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis from the online black market.

Two of the convictions were against brothers aged 15 and 17, after police from the technology crime unit and Esperance detectives ran Operation Cinder late last year.

The juveniles were jailed by the Perth Children's Court for a maximum of 12 months on more than a dozen charges of possessing 6.8g of cannabis, 0.7g of cocaine and seven ecstasy pills with intent to sell and supply.

A 26-year-old man, who was charged with attempting to possess drugs from the site, was fined $1000.

Details of the convictions emerged as the father of Churchlands Senior High School student Preston Bridge - who died after taking a synthetic LSD bought online - met Police Minister Liza Harvey yesterday to discuss the growing problem of internet drug trafficking.

Rod Bridge said he was heartened by the first success in targeting the site's activities, but wanted authorities to go after those running the so-called "eBay for drugs".

"I don't want to hear another person tell me you can't shut that site down or chase the organised crime people behind it," Mr Bridge said. "Find the server, the client list because it's being used to kill people."

In February, Mr Bridge's son leapt from a Scarborough hotel balcony after having a "tab" of a synthetic chemical believed to be 25I-NBOMe. A sheet of tabs was bought on Silk Road by another teenager for about $20.

A Sydney teenager, Henry Kwan, died in June after taking the chemical compound and leaping over his parents' apartment balcony.

Police want Silk Road users to know they are being monitored and can be caught.

"Parents who do not actively monitor what sites their children use on computers and smart phones shouldn't be surprised when police execute a search warrant or charge their son with serious offences," Det-Sen. Sgt Troy Douglas said.