Thailand has notoriously harsh drug laws considering the sale of some category one drugs carries the death penalty. Starting a war on drugs in 2003, Thailand began to crack down on the distribution of such category one drugs like ecstasy, heroin, and LSD. However, drugs are obviously still present in Thailand, especially around clubs and around the time of the famous full moon party held the night of, before, or after every full moon. A lot of tourists come to the full moon party looking to let loose. This gave people like 26 year old Australian DJ Jake Mastroianni a reason to distribute ecstasy pills with his buddy 28 year old Lance Whitemore.

Mastroianni was known DJ, stage name “Badmouth,” having residencies at Club Pattaya, almost 100 miles south of Bangkok and clubs on Koh Phangan where the full party is held. The two friends were arrested in 2014 at Pattaya for charges of possession of ecstasy pills. Mastroianni was convicted and has two life sentences for carrying 61 pills, while his friend Whitemore, who was found with 200 pills, has a 50 year sentence. Mastroianni faces a heavier sentence because he did not plead guilty to the charges under the advisement of lawyers, but Whitemore did leading to a shorter sentence.

The two recently had an appeal trial to get their sentences reduced, but considering the charges and Thailand’s strict drug laws, the appeal was denied. Jeffrey Stevens, the lawyer representing both men, was questioned about the appeal trial and how they hoped to reduce the sentences.”We’ve done everything we can,” Stevens said. “At the end of the day, Lance did plead guilty. We were not fighting the fact that he was guilty.” The two are being held in Klong Prem jail, a prison with infamously harsh living conditions.  Mastroianni is eligible for a transfer in six years to an Australian prison. Many fear that the conditions in the prison are far too harsh for the crime committed by the two men.