The prosecutor requests maximum sentence for one of the members of Sweden’s biggest dark web vendor shop. According to information provided by the Skaraborg District Court, the 35-year-old man, who is believed to be the leader of the operation, could get 14 years in prison for his deeds.
“There has been nothing that has involved so much time and so many sales,” says prosecutor Sofia Karlsson.
The investigation started in April, led by prosecutor Karlsson and was conducted with the assistance of the Europol. The case is also associated with Operation Hyperion, a global law enforcement action against dark net criminals.
The two men and a woman from Mariestad made millions of SEK by distributing narcotics in the country and to customers abroad. Police information says the vendor shop sold amphetamines, ecstasy, cannabis and many other kinds of drugs on the dark web.
Swedish law enforcement authorities managed to trace over 6,000 transactions with millions of SEK transferred to foreign accounts.
“When one acts on sites in the darknet then they are protected, their activities cannot be traced back. In this case, we have managed to trace them back,” says the prosecutor.
A photo police found on the Mariestad woman’s phone. It was taken 2 days before the police raided the couple’s apartment.
According to court information, the woman in the gang raised the suspicion of law enforcement authorities. She is also charged with serious drug offenses, however, the prosecutor asked for a much lower sentence for her: three and half years in prison.
“She has not had a leading role, but she has ended up in this. We have highlighted it as a mitigating circumstance that she made sure the police could come to the apartment,” Karlsson said.
Swedish law enforcement authorities seized large amounts of narcotics in the couple’s (the 35-year-old man and the woman) apartment. In addition to that, police found incriminating evidence on the man’s computer, which showed the vendor shop’s dark net activities. The evidence, according to police information, showed how the group’s business was structured, however, where the narcotics were sourced from could not be determined by Swedish authorities.
“We have found the conversations where people said they brought in drugs from abroad, but we did not come further than that, although, we think it is via couriers,” the prosecutor said. “We have reached about 20 buyers that we have identified and some of them have been prosecuted. I would think that it will be NOA, the old National Police who will take on this issue because it is related to buyers in the country.”
Despite the fact that the prosecutor asked for a maximum sentence for the 35-year-old, his lawyer believes that the punishment will end up at the maximum of 6 years of imprisonment.
The woman of the vendor trio was released from custody after a time, her lawyer wants all charges against her dismissed.
A judgment in the case is expected on December 23.