Ex-BTOB member gets 2-year prison term for marijuana use

SEOUL-- Jung Il-hoon, former member of K-pop boy band BTOB, was sentenced by a local court Thursday to two years in prison for habitually smoking marijuana, a banned substance in South Korea.

The 27-year-old Jung was indicted without detention in April on charges of smoking marijuana worth 133 million won (US$119,300) that he had bought from an acquaintance on 161 occasions between July 2016 and January 2019.

The Seoul Central District Court also ordered Jung to forfeit 133 million won for violating the Narcotics Control Act and be taken into custody immediately.

Seven accomplices who were indicted for drug offenses together with Jung were also sentenced to prison terms ranging from 1 1/2 to two years.

In the previous court hearing, prosecutors demanded a four-year prison sentence and a forfeiture of 133 million won for Jung, who admitted to the charges and appealed for mercy. Jung left BTOB late last month when allegations of his marijuana use came to light.

"The defendants used sophisticated criminal tactics, including communications through the dark web and cryptocurrency-based payments, to cover up their offenses," the court said.

In particular, Jung and one of his accomplices, surnamed Park, played the leading roles and committed the largest number of offenses, it said, noting they deserve due punishment for their habitual use of marijuana.

Source: Yonhap News Agency