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German Darknet Vendor Sentenced to Rehab and Probation

A 32-year-old from the German city of Halle received a sentence of drug rehab and therapy after getting caught and charged with for selling drugs on the darknet. Although the evidence gathered by law enforcement weighed heavily in favor of a lengthy drug trafficking sentence, 32-year-old Maximilian P. explained his story of lifelong addiction and his lawyer fought for a suspended sentence.

German law enforcement arrested Maximilian P. in August of 2017. Officials at a post office in North Rhine-Westphalia intercepted a package that contained 50 grams of heroin, five grams of cocaine, and an unannounced number of ecstasy pills. The package was headed for Maximilian’s home address in Halle. According to their records, Maximilian had no stable environment but worked as a mechanic on occasion. The police secured a search warrant for the man’s house. They executed the warrant in late August.

According to the prosecution, the police found a massive drug cache in the 32-year-old’s house. In a closet, authorities said, they found 492 grams of marijuana. They also found 50 grams of heroin, hundreds of prescription pain pills, and seven ecstasy pills in a safe under his bed. The safe also contained 1,900 euros and a USB drive that proved quite useful for the prosecution.

Investigators found evidence that Maximilian sold drugs on the darknet and evidence that he used drugs himself. The USB drive contained a full list of transactions Maximilian had made using the darknet. The transactions included information on his customers and information on the vendor’s darknet identity: a dealer known as “Medimax.”

In court, Maximilian confessed to purchasing the drugs that the German authorities seized at the post office in North Rhine-Westphalia. He admitted to drug possession and he admitted to drug distribution. Through a statement given by his attorney, Maximilian explained that he sold on the darknet to feed his own addiction. He said he had started smoking marijuana at the age of 18. He then moved to methamphetamine and then switched to heroin. He told the court that he “smoked or snorted one gram of heroin everyday” for two years prior to his arrest. He added that he smoked marijuana on occasion but that the half-kilo of marijuana in his house belonged to a friend who planned to sell it.

The friend, of course, denied the accusations in court. And with no evidence to support the claim, by default, Maximilian still faced the penalty for possessing that specific amount of marijuana. The court took into account the man’s desire for rehabilitation. Maximilian received a sentence of one year and three months, suspended upon completion of three years probation and a drug therapy program. According to the defense, the man’s family had already arranged for Maximilian to enter a rehab facility.

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