A Dunedin student who tried to import more than $30,000 of ecstasy to his scarfie flat said he did it to make "easy money".

But 21-year-old Mathew Haven Clarke soon found the international drug game was not as simple as he thought.

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The defendant was arrested in August after eight months of offending, which his counsel Andrew Dawson said was exceptionally straightforward to commit.

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"For someone who knows what they're doing with a computer, a few clicks and there [the drugs] are," he said.

It was an increasingly widespread problem, Dawson told the court.

Clarke accessed a website on which users could browse anonymously and securely.

Importation of ecstasy tablets was an 'increasingly widespread problem', defence counsel Andrew Dawson said. File photo / Peter Meecham
Importation of ecstasy tablets was an 'increasingly widespread problem', defence counsel Andrew Dawson said. File photo / Peter Meecham

The student used bitcoins to buy MDMA and provided the address of his flat — he only attempted to cover his tracks by providing a fake name.

Then he waited.

It was "relatively unsophisticated", Judge John Macdonald said.

During the eight-month period, Customs intercepted eight packages — containing a total of 115.5g of the class B substance — destined for Clarke's Dunedin home.

However, several consignments slipped through the net.

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Clarke received 40g of MDMA, which he sold at $160 to $200 a gram.

On August 19, police raided the man's home where they seized $1620.

The cash, Clarke admitted, was from his ecstasy sales.

"The defendant admitted the facts... and said he imported the drugs to make easy money," a police summary said.

If all 155.5g had made it to Clarke, he could have made up to $31,100, police said.

Dawson said the illicit enterprise had been the result of his client's association with "a particular group of people".

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However, Clarke wanted to take full responsibility for his actions, he said.

The importations happened at a time when the defendant was feeling self-destructive.

"At that point he didn't care about the consequences," Mr Dawson said.

His attitude had since improved and the lawyer provided documentation showing Clarke had undertaken a drug test and was now free of substances.

Judge Macdonald said the fact the man was consuming as well as selling the drugs likely had some bearing on his decision-making at the time.

A report noted Clarke was a heavy user of drugs and alcohol while studying but was now considered a low risk of reoffending.

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He was sentenced to eight months' home detention and 250 hours' community work.

Dawson said Clarke would serve his sentence at the family home in Te Anau.