The mother of a teenage boy accused of using cryptocurrency to buy drugs on the dark web said she was "relieved" her son had been taken into custody.
The 17-year-old from Warrnambool appeared in a court on Tuesday charged with 15 offences, including trafficking cannabis and attempting to traffic ketamine, cocaine, amphetamine and MDMA.
He cannot be named fort legal reasons.
The court was told he was allegedly caught with $5000 cash and drugs worth about $20,000 that he purchased off the dark web.
The youth was arrested during the execution of a search warrant at his family home on Monday.
He spent a night in police custody before applying for bail on Tuesday.
The teenager's mother told the court she was "actually quite relieved" her son had been taken into custody.
"Even though it is quite distressing, (he) needs to have this short, sharp, shock," she told the court.
The accused was released on youth justice bail with strict conditions, including he not access any postal services and not use drugs.
A police senior constable told the court the teenager was using cryptocurrency Bitcoin to purchase drugs off the dark web and then sell them in the Warrnambool area. She alleged the drugs were delivered to a post office box the accused had allegedly purchased.
A package intercepted by police on June 18 uncovered 28 grams of ketamine, the officer said.
A search warrant executed at the youth's house on Monday uncovered 119 grams of cannabis, 2.72 grams of MDMA, drug paraphernalia and close to $5000 cash. The court heard a preliminary analysis of the teen's mobile phone revealed drug-trafficking messages and screenshots of bank deposits of close to $3000.
While the teen was in custody, officers seized another package which contained 28 grams of cocaine, 28 grams of amphetamine and 484 grams of cannabis.
The officer told the court the drugs had a total street value of $20,000.
The youth will appear in court again on September 11.
Acting Sergeant Scott Lenehan, of the Warrnambool-based police divisional response unit, said information from the public had proved crucial in sparking an investigation.
"And that has led to us being able to locate and seize a significant amount of drugs and cash," he told The Standard.
"We haven't seen a lot of cases like this, involving purchases from the dark web.
"The information we have gathered has been passed on to the drug squad for further investigations into where the drugs were sourced.
"We would request that anyone with information about drugs contact the Warrnambool police station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000."
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