Rebels Member Pleads Guilty in Tasmania’s Biggest-Ever Drug Bust, Paid with Bitcoin

Nicholas Mark Stebbins, an ex-member of the Rebels Motorcycle Club, pleaded guilty in what was Tasmania’s biggest-ever drug bust. Stebbins

Nicholas Mark Stebbins, an ex-member of the Rebels Motorcycle Club, pleaded guilty in what was Tasmania’s biggest-ever drug bust.

Stebbins allegedly sold $11 million worth of amphetamines, MDMA, cocaine and other narcotics between August 2012 and July 2014. He reportedly purchased them using bitcoin in order to avoid going through the banks. Evidence of seven drug-filled parcels, containing $500,000 worth of MDMA, was presented.

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He also repeatedly made some transactions through the post office using his driver’s license as identification.

With the guilty plea, Stebbins’ defense team has sought to highlight their client’s good side in a bid to lighten his sentence. They argued that while remanded in custody, he was the “model prisoner.” He completed a certificate on building to improve his future job prospects and re-established relationships with his mother, girlfriend and family friends, who would act as a support base should he be released.

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Their general defense centered around the argument that Stebbins was only part of a group of the drug operation but did not lead it. Stebbins also pointed out that he has severed ties with the gang and returned his patches in a bid to rehabilitate.

But the prosecution has argued that Stebbins has still not revealed to the court the source of the money for purchasing the drugs.

Sentencing is next month.

Last year, Australian authorities launched a broad crackdown on gangs and drug trade, seizing a bitcoin ATM at a cafe in Brisbane.

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