A TEENAGER charged with ordering a deadly new drug over the internet has sparked the first Australian case of its kind in a Darwin court.
The 16-year-old boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, is the first juvenile to be charged with importing 4-methylmethcathinone in powder form.
The boy's lawyer Peter Elliott told Darwin Youth Justice Court that his client was "reckless" as to whether the drug, commonly known as mephedrone, was legal in Australia.
Mr Elliott said that the drugs were ordered over the internet from a "legitimate" chemical company based in China.
He said his client would plead guilty to the charge.
Commonwealth Crown prosecutor Mark McCarthy told the court the boy had admitted importing 1kg of the powder to sell to his friends.
Mr McCarthy said it was common practice to cut the powder with caffeine. He said the powder could have made up to 5800 capsules and, if sold for $10 each as the boy said, he would have stood to make $58,000.
The court heard he had paid $8000 and was expected to pay $12,000 when the drug arrived. The drug is believed to have an effect similar to that of cocaine and ecstasy.
Mr McCarthy and Mr Elliott were yesterday arguing as to whether the matter should be heard in the Supreme Court or the Youth Justice Court, which can only impose a maximum custodial sentence of two years.
The maximum penalty for the charge is 10 years in prison.
January 15, 2010
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