German Darknet Drug Dealer Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison
A software engineer from Geldern, Germany, was sentenced to seven years in prison after he was found guilty of darknet drug trafficking. The 37-year-old man had told the court that he engaged in the illicit sale of drugs to help his cousin. In passing the sentence, the court determined that the man sold cannabis and its products through the darknet not to help his cousin but for his own monetary gain.
According to reports, the 37-year-old ran the drug trafficking operation from basement of his house and made deliveries of the drugs through the mail. The man made a habit of dropping the drug packages at a post office in Sonsbecker. As his operation grew, the number of packages he dropped at the post office increased and, as a result, raised suspicion and attracted the attention of a postal employee. The post employee alerted police officers who opened some of the outgoing packages and found hashish and marijuana in the packages.
After intercepting the packages, the police began their investigation by keeping watch at the post office to see who made the posting. As the police kept watch, the 37-year-old made the drug posting as usual, and, while he was in the post office, the cops planted a tracking and listening device on his car and used them to track movements and record his conversations.
The police used the evidence acquired from the post office to acquire a search warrant against the 37-year-old’s property. The detectives carried out a search on a Geldern residence in March 2018, and in the basement of the house, the cops found materials which, according to a police statement, created the impression of a highly organized criminal operation. The detectives found and seized 17 kilograms of hashish, 15 kilograms of marijuana, packaging materials, an electric weighing machine, and cutting equipment.
Following the search, the 37-year-old was arrested. Despite having a clean criminal record and being a self-employed software developer, the suspect was held in remand without bail. This led to the collapse of his business. The defendant explained that being held in custody and knowing that he would lose his property and business devastated him.
During the sentencing hearing, the defendant told the court that he had engaged in the operation to help his cousin run the drug trafficking operation. He also stated that he never received any payment from his cousin for the help. The defendant remorsefully claimed that he had taken the legal consequences of his actions seriously and was willing to be held responsible for his wrongdoing, and as a result, he would come out of the whole situation a new man.
To help the defendant receive a lighter sentence, the defence attorney told the court that the defendant should be convicted for aiding and abetting – not drug trafficking. The lawyer argued that since the defendant was only helping his cousin and was not paid for helping, his actions could not be counted as drug trafficking.
The defendant’s lawyer’s argument was highly opposed by the prosecution who asked the judge to sentence the defendant for at least eight years in prison for drug trafficking. The prosecution argued that the defendant and his cousin had been trafficking cannabis over the darknet since at least 2017.
While issuing the sentence in the Kleve District Court, Judge Jurgen Ruby said that evidence had indicated that the defendant was responsible for the mailing of the drugs. The judge also noted that records of his communication showed that he was also in charge of sales. The judge concluded by saying the defendant was not in the operation just to help his cousin but to make money, since he ensured he made deliveries as fast as possible to increase sales. He then sentenced the defendant to seven years in prison.