German drug dealer was recently sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for selling drugs on Silk Road and other dark web marketplaces.
The General Anzeiger newspaper reports that the 30-year-old defendant from the Rhein-Sieg district started his operation around seven years ago with smaller quantities of drugs mainly for personal consumption.
Reportedly, he would buy marijuana and amphetamine in small portions under the alias “Devils Son” and would later sell them at a profit under another the alias “Nightmare.”
Apart from the now-defunct Silk Road marketplace, the online drug trafficker ventured into other darknet platforms, like Pandora.
The Bonn-based newspaper reported that the defendant engaged in these activities between 2014 and 2016.
He was found guilty of handling half a kilo of cocaine, 3.7 kilograms of crystalline MDMA, 3 kilos of marijuana, 15 kilos of amphetamine paste and LSD supply valued at 1 million euros.
Like most darknet users, the dealer transacted using Bitcoin. While Bitcoin has always been perceived a safe haven for anonymity, the FBI operation that led to the closure of Silk Road made it possible to catch darknet drug dealers, including Devils Sons.
In this case, U.S. investigators are said to have forwarded intelligence to their European counterparts, efforts that led to the successful prosecution of several suspects in local courts.
Even though the information from the FBI was instrumental in bringing the defendant to book, more investigations were necessary to put the case beyond reasonable doubt.
In January 2016, German authorities conducted a thorough house search at the drug dealer’s premises and seized drugs amounting to 73,000 euros and 3 gold bars.
The monetary items are currently held by the German treasury.
The operation was a trigger to bigger busts later that year, which involved about 250 officers and several prosecutors who ransacked houses belonging to other suspects.
During the ruling of the defendant’s case, chamber chairperson Marc Eumann suggested that the drug dealer’s substances were not consistent in terms of quality.
According to Eumann, only the hard drugs contained significant amounts of active ingredients.
On the other hand, the marijuana supply sold by the defendant composed of at most 10 percent active ingredients.
Confession for a Shorter Sentence
Given the quantity of the drugs and nature of the online activities, the defendant was facing at least five years in prison.
However, he entered a plea with the courts that reduced his sentence to only 3.5 years.
According to the German justice system, the ramifications of a criminal offense may be reduced if the suspect confesses to their charges.
In a similar case earlier this year, a 21-year-old defendant from Amberg who was arrested for trading methamphetamine and ecstasy tablets in the dark web received a reduced sentence.
The Amberg defendant, just like the dealer from Rhein-Sieg, used to buy drugs for personal use as well as for sale.
Because of his confession and cooperation with the authorities, he was equally allowed to serve a reduced sentence, his being only six months.
His age and the severity of his dealings were likely taken into consideration during the ruling.
Dark Web Increasingly Popular in Germany
The Rhein-Sieg case signals more investigations that are still underway.
The German authorities are currently identifying around 300 of the defendant’s customers for prosecution.
They have also initiated additional criminal proceedings against other darknet users within the country for violation of the Narcotics Act.
As it appears, most of the users purchase drugs from darknet sites and later resale the substances profitably, while at the same time keeping some for personal consumption.
Most of the online purchases are delivered through company addresses around Rhein-Sieg.
After detecting suspicious packages containing marijuana, the companies addressed abuse of their addresses that featured inadequate postage franking or other identifying details.
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