In mid-December, a Bad Neustadt courtroom heard court officials sentence a 26-year-old drug dealer to three years of court supervision instead of the prosecution’s recommended sentence of two years in prison. Authorities had accused the dealer of buying a combined total of 800 grams of amphetamine from a darknet market vendor. The Bamberg Attorney General pursued the case in connection with the arrest of “the operators of the darknet site” where the 26-year-old had purchased amphetamine.
According to court officials, the dealer first purchased amphetamine in December 2015. He placed four orders, each for 100 grams of the drug. “He paid with Bitcoins within one hour” and provided the darknet vendor with his real name and shipping address. He made one purchase of 200 grams of amphetamine in February 2016 and another 200 gram purchase later that year in March. As far as the court knew, every package had successfully arrived at the defendant’s front door.
Investigators had allegedly gathered this information through a series of larger investigations. They spoke about one event in particular, that led to the arrest of several drug traffickers. Court officials revealed very few details when describing the takedown of the darknet site the dealer had used in his 800-gram operation. That bust, though, led to the arrest of site’s operators and the discovery of “extensive data” and lists.
After analyzing the seized data, investigators learned that “the main perpetrators” (read: the vendors) had imported 46 kilograms of amphetamine—from the Netherlands—into Hanover. The investigation into the Hanover vendor(s) led to several arrests in Lower Saxony; many of the defendants had received “long prison terms” for their involvement. The investigation also brought police to the 26-year-old Bavarian drug dealer. In turn, the arrest of the recently-sentenced defendant opened another investigation for authorities in the area.
The 26-year-old’s lawyer told the court that his client only passed the drugs to a third party for three euros per gram. He had not learned the names or identities of the end users, his lawyer claimed. The defendant knew the name of the contact that bought the amphetamine for the end users, though; he had given that name to police investigators. Both parties agreed that the operation, on paper at least, looked like a professional drug trafficking conspiracy. However, according to the man’s lawyer, the 26-year-old’s actions ‘clearly’ indicated signs of naivety. The only example given was the man’s use of his real name and address when ordering packages from a darknet drug vendor.
After some deliberation, the court settled upon a sentence of three years on probation and fine of 4,000 Euros. The prosecution had pushed to send the defendant to prison for two years, but the “willingness to work with the court” seemingly paid off. The court ordered the man to stop smoking marijuana and to prepare for random drug tests. In addition to his willingness to cooperate, the court noted that the lack of prior charges had helped the man avoid prison.