A UNIVERSITY of Chester student imported drugs from Holland and used a friend’s name in the package address.
Gayan Aponsu, 22, was living at Liverpool Road, Chester when he became a “sole trader” in supplying a number of class A drugs, Chester Crown Court heard on Friday, July 2.
Aponsu pleaded guilty to two charges of importing class A and class B drugs from Holland, three charges of possessing class A drugs with intent to supply and three charges of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.
He was jailed for three years and eight months.
Proseucting, Brett Williamson said Aponsu, a business studies student at the time of the offending, had managed to find an importer of drugs through the dark web.
Border Forces officers intercepted two packages from Holland at Heathrow Airport. One of them contained about 20 grams of MDMA, while another contained about 10 grams of ketamine.
Police identified Aponsu’s address and raided the property, finding 1.7g of cocaine, 10 tablets of LSD and 57.75 MDMA tablets, as well as scales and snap bags, plus a mobile phone with drug-dealing related text messages, which showed the drugs operation was across North Wales and Chester.
The two packages had been addressed to Aponsu’s friend, who was arrested and interviewed, but the prosecution concluded had nothing to do with the enterprise.
The class A drugs found had a collective street value of £2,500.
Also discovered were two bank accounts, one of which contained a number of small payments consistent with that of someone involved in the drugs trade, the court heard.
About $7,000 of cryptocurrency had been obtained and spent.
Defending, Gareth Thomas said Aponsu was a young man who, at the time, “had the world at his feet” and was “remorseful and ashamed of what he has done”.
He and his family had come to the UK from Sri Lanka and he had endured “a very difficult childhood”.
But it was “a monumentally stupid decision” to get involved in the supply of drugs.
He was “a man of previously impeccable character” and “desperately” wanted to put the offences behind him and continue with his studies if possible.
Recorder Mark Ainsworth told Aponsu: “The full story begins many years ago. You came to the UK with your family when you were eight years old to start a new life in this country.
“You have had a difficult childhood before and since you arrived. It was something of great pride, I’m sure, that you got a place at the University of Chester, studying business studies.
“You would not be the only student in the UK paying fees in that course, but that does not begin to justify what you did.
“You must understand the absolute misery class A drugs cause in society. They wreck lives and they wreck communities.
“While they may raise income, the price paid by society is immense.
“You were able to source ecstasy and ketamine from the so-called dark web and arranged for them to be sent to the UK to your address. To do that, you used the name of a fellow student, who was wholly blameless.
“He suffered the distress of being arrested and interviewed – he must have sat there thinking his world was falling apart. His only misfortune was knowing you. It’s quite shameful you should involve him in this way.”
Judge Ainsworth said he acknowledged the prison sentence would have an impact on Aponsu for many years, as well as that of his family.
Aponsu was jailed for three years, eight months, and a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing is due to be heard in November, which will assess how much Aponsu needs to repay financially.