A man from Dresden faced charges of weapons trade, ammunition possession, and child pornography possession at Dresden District Court. All three charges stemmed from activity committed on the darknet. The police’s discovery of the images depicting child abuse only occurred after the defendant ordered five Glock 17s from an undercover officer on a darknet site. He received a prison sentence of two years and four months.
The defendant, a 35-year-old man named Sebastian Z., first ran into trouble in early 2017. Officers with the State Criminal Police Office arrested the man after he arrived at a Radeburger Post Office to pick up a package of Glocks he had ordered under the name Martin Schubert. Evidence presented in the courtroom revealed that the darknet weapons dealer in Australia had faked their identity too; Australian law enforcement controlled the account. They convinced the man that he needed to purchase five weapons—not just one. They settled upon five Glock 17s and 100 rounds of ammunition for $7,600 in Bitcoin.
One courtroom reporter wrote that the empty package sent by Australian authorities had surprised him. The reporter also said that Z’s identity had surprised the police officers with the State Criminal Police Officer who arrested Z at the Post Office. They had expected Martin Schubert and likely someone unemployed by the police administrative office.
Officers searched Z’s Dresden Neustadt apartment and found computers, ammunition, and six tabs of LSD. As investigators analyzed the computers from the man’s apartment, the prosecution’s case against Z grew. They found evidence that he had purchased the additional ammunition from a darknet weapons dealer in Mannheim. He had also attempted to purchase guns from various vendors but never actually completed the transaction. Investigators also discovered more than 1,000 pictures and videos of child abuse in various forms that he had downloaded from a site on the darknet.
In court, Z pleaded guilty to the child pornography charges but refused to answer several questions about the weapons. He acknowledged the charges and their legitimacy. He said that he needed a gun because he could not sleep at night due to fear. He feared the “refugee situation.” But the court could not understand the need for five guns. Z’s lawyer shamed the prosecution and undercover agents who talked Z into buying so many. The prosecutor’s office pushed the weapons trafficking angle, but later dropped it due to a lack of evidence supporting the theory. The lead prosecutor told the court that analysts had failed to decode all of the content on Z’s storage devices.
Z’s attorney asked for a two-year sentence. Two years suspended sentence at best. The court decided upon two years and four months incarceration.