Husband and Wife Charged for Darknet Drug Distribution
For two and a half years, Daniel and Juliana B. used the darknet to distribute numerous types of drugs—1,205 orders totalling $337,940, according to the prosecution. The trial drew near an end as the evidence against the husband and wife stacked up in front of them. Daniel, the 30-year-old husband accepted and claimed every charge in an effort to shield his wife from prison. His wife, 35-year-old Juliana, admitted to very little actionable evidence.
The trial began on May 3, 2017, and was scheduled to run through May 9. This did not happen. The entire process took significantly longer after the judge fell sick to an illness and the court did not reconvene on May 9. Instead, the the two defendants waited until June 2 for their first hearing, a second time.
In February 2012, Daniel learned of the darknet. He told the court that he purchased some of the best speed of his lifetime. He ordered it for personal use until November 2015—both the defendant and prosecution agreed. “I set up a buyer account in the name of my wife – because of my criminal records,” he said. “My wife did not know anything about it.” He appeared to have ceased use in November 2015.
“He set up the account details on my phone,” Juliana said in her testimony. “Of course I knew what he was doing. I did not want to have anything to do with drug trafficking, but I did not mind [helping him].”
Starting at an unknown date in early 2014, the defendants sold across numerous vendor accounts on various darknet markets. They sold cocaine, amphetamine, MDMA in powder or crystal form, ecstasy tablets, marijuana, and diazepam. Both the husband and wife received the same distribution charges; while the husband alone could receive a distribution conviction, the prosecution continued to speak as if both defendants were equally involved.
Their vendor accounts received high ratings for the drugs they sold. A buyer reviewed the ecstasy pills and said they were of “excellent quality.” The prosecution alleged that the duo completed 1,205 illegal transactions of the same sort. And according to bank information from the bank account under Juliana’s name, they deposited almost $334,000. For this—the quantity of drugs sold and money earned—authorities charged the pair with the illicit trafficking of narcotics and a violation of the German Medicine Act.
However, Juliana claimed that she begged her husband to stop selling. And at some point, he did—or they did, if the pair lied. He quit until August 2016. “[I stopped] until I got a very good offer in August 2016 and started again,” he confirmed. This time, the prosecution claimed, she undeniably helped him. She confirmed this. According to the prosecution, Juliana told Daniel that she would help him sell the drugs until they sold all of what Daniel stockpiled.
Law enforcement investigated the vendors after finding Juliana’s bank transactions suspicious. They watched the duo mail parcels on a routine basis and once they collected enough proof, officers made arrests. Unfortunately for Juliana, officers watched her drop off a parcel for shipment. She admitted that she helped on the second “run” between August 2016 until their arrests.
But the help was nothing more than letting him use her name on a bank account and dropped off packages, she argued. “I just took something on the way to work and put it in the box.” The prosecution said that the wife was not only a “helper but also an accomplice.” According to the court, Juliana conducted price negotiations, ordered stamps, and accepted packages from suppliers.
The session ended without a conclusion for Juliana. Daniel was made aware that he would serve six years in prison, based on his testimony. The court will reconvene in early June.