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Two men used the dark web to smuggle drugs into Victoria and mailed them out to customers using children’s toys and cushions as a cover.

Steen McBeth, 29 and Jackson Li, 28, admitted importing and trafficking cocaine, ecstasy, ketamine and other drugs into the country for eight months in 2017.

The men used bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to buy drugs using the dark web and import them, Victorian County Court Judge Michael Cahill said.

A “safe house” in suburban Mernda was used to package the drugs and the pair would disguise the parcels they sent out using children’s toys, cushions and pillows.

The duo were busted after police seized more than 1.8kg of cocaine, 5.4kg of MDMA or ecstasy and 886g of ketamine between March and September 2017.

The drugs were found in more than 123 international parcels intercepted by the Australian Federal Police and another 14 at post offices in that period.

The Mernda safe house was raided in October and federal police seized more drugs including cocaine, heroin, ketamine, meth and ecstasy.

They also found scales.

At Li’s Kew house the police found $103,000 in cash and at McBeth’s property they found $56,000 in a white envelope.

But while the pair were part of the illicit drug syndicate, they were not the masterminds.

The judge took into account their limited criminal history, remorse, early plea of guilty and their positive rehabilitation prospects.

McBeth had been told he would be deported back to his native New Zealand after he completed his sentence, Judge Cahill said.

Meanwhile Li, who was born in New Zealand, is also facing deportation.

“I accept that you are both genuinely and profoundly remorseful,” Judge Cahill said in his sentencing remarks.

McBeth was jailed for seven years but must serve at least four years before he is eligible for parole.

Li was jailed for six years, and must serve at least three years and six months before being eligible for parole.

They have spent 824 days in pre-sentence detention.





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