Former BtoB member Ilhoon sentenced to two years for marijuana use

The judge also deemed it necessary to arrest him in court because Ilhoon was considered a flight risk.
The judge also deemed it necessary to arrest him in court because Ilhoon was considered a flight risk.PHOTO: ILHOONMJ/INSTAGRAM

Former BtoB boy band member Ilhoon was sentenced to two years in prison and fined 133 million won (S$160,000) on Thursday (June 10) for purchasing and using marijuana on 161 occasions.

Seoul Central District Court senior judge Yang Cheol-han presided over the sentencing of the 26-year-old rapper-singer, whose real name is Jung Il-hoon.

The judge also deemed it necessary to arrest him in court because Ilhoon was considered a flight risk, according to a report on entertainment website Koreaboo.

The prosecution had previously asked for four years in prison for his crimes, which came to light last year (2020). He left the popular seven-member boy band in December.

He and seven other defendants were on trial for buying 826g of marijuana with a value of 133 million won and smoking it 161 times between July 5, 2016, and Jan 9, 2019.

According to entertainment portal Soompi, the seven other defendants received sentences of between 1½and two years, or a suspended sentence.

His lawyers pleaded for leniency during the trial, saying their client had a difficult time as an idol. "He worked in the entertainment industry at such a young age and he tried to relieve the stress in the wrong way."

The court said: "The defendants communicated through the dark web in order for their crimes to not be easily detected and they used elaborate criminal methods such as making transactions with the cryptocurrency Bitcoin."

Jung and another defendant named Park were named the leaders of the group by the court, which added: "The two defendants played leading roles and carried out the criminal acts the greatest number of times."