Three German Darknet Dealers Sentenced to Probation
On October 18, a Saarland court passed down unusually mild sentences to three so-called “darknet dealers.” The men had distributed mushrooms, LSD, heroin, and amphetamine for several months before their arrest, the police said. After authorities intercepted packages addressed to one of the three dealers, they raided the suspect’s apartment and struck gold: the feathers had maintained whiteboards with active deals, customer names, and payment statuses.
Although the board contributed nothing to the arrest of all three dealers, their “carefully managed business” directly impacted the case and subsequent sentencing. The incriminating whiteboards led to quick confessions from the men, given the combined weight of the evidence collected by law enforcement.
The case moved from arrest to sentencing in a matter of weeks. In the time between hearings, authorities released very little information. An ongoing investigation that first reached the press in August, along with the inherent investigation into the trio’s customers more than likely impacted the case’s sensitivity. In August, elsewhere in Germany, police had uncovered a darknet drug trafficking group and numerous local customers. The investigation, an official spokesperson announced, had really taken off after German police intercepted a package of drugs from the darknet earlier that month.
At the time of the announcement, law enforcement had already learned that the drug trafficking group consisted of three suspects. Kriminalpolizei in a nearby city had previously found that a darknet dealer lived—or sold, at least—from somewhere within the region. But identification of the men did not occur until after police in Saarland intercepted a package headed towards Wadgassen.
One of the defendants, a 31-year-old named Patrik C., had ordered the package. And then several more. In total, the intercepted drugs weighed several kilograms, but officials never released a precise figure. Police then raided an apartment in Wadgassen that belonged to all three suspects. There, they found the whiteboards (and other drug-related evidence, including drugs).
The oldest defendant, Patrik C., controlled and managed the orders. The other two, 25-year-old Philip B. and 23-year-old Yannik K. played unspecified roles in the conspiracy. Like in the Shiny Flakes case, the records identified buyers and incriminated the dealers. In addition to the nicknames of buyers, the men had written down information that directly linked some customers. This includes real names and addresses.
In the final hearing, the presiding judge sentenced Patrik C. and Philip B. to two years probation and fined them both $6,800. Yannik K. received a softer punishment than his older partners: 19 months on probation and a $3,500 fine.