An Australian man was sentenced to more than a decade in prison for masterminding a dark web drug trafficking operation that sold drugs worth approximately $17 million.
Cody Ward, 27, of New South Wales was sentenced after he pleading guilty to multiple drug trafficking offenses. Ward ran the darkweb vendor account “NSWGreat” from his home in Callala Bay. He imported and distributed large quantities of drugs including cocaine, MDMA, LSD, cannabis, methylamphetamine, amphetamine, and prescription medication through the vendor account.
Ward was arrested in February 2019 as a result of extensive investigations conducted by Strike Force Royden investigators. During the investigation, investigators intercepted 85 packages and seized undisclosed quantities of a variety of illicit drugs.
Ward’s arrest resulted in the seizure of more than 200 grams of MDMA, a total of 2.5 kilograms of white powder believed to be cocaine, amphetamine, diazepam, and other illicit substances. They also seized 100,000 LSD pills, cannabis, and alprazolam disguised as candy. The investigators also seized more than $80,000 in cash, money counters, documents, electronic devices, and items used in the packaging and mailing of illicit drugs.
The investigators also arrested two sisters, Shanese and Patricia Koullias as part of the investigation. The sisters prepared, packaged, and distributed drug packages per orders received by Ward on the darkweb.
Patricia Koullias was sentenced to three years in prison with a non-parole period of 22 months in December 2020. Shanese Koullias was sentenced to eight years in prison with a non-parole period of four years in February 2021.
Ward pleaded guilty to the importation of commercial quantities of border controlled drugs and to the large-scale supply of illicit drugs in August 2020.
Ward’s sentencing hearing took place at the NSW District Court on May 14, 2021. Judge Robyn Tupman sentenced him to 14 years in prison with a non-parole period of 10 years. The sentence was dated back to Ward’s arrest date in February 2019.