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Austrian Ketamine Trafficker Sentenced to Probation

After his September arrest for drug trafficking, a 22-year-old ketamine dealer received a light sentence of probation and mandatory drug therapy sessions. On October 30, the Vienna District Court heard how a Burgenland native had financed his own “addiction” to marijuana through drug distribution. One of his family members, the man said, had told him that he could “make some money” by ordering ketamine from a darknet vendor and reselling it to friends and acquaintances.

For several months, the 22-year-old had arranged for the delivery of 320 grams of ketamine to his address in Burgenland, the prosecutor said. Police in Austria had monitored the defendant’s activities and phone calls in a so-called “intensive” investigation. During the investigation, the Austrian police investigators discovered the country of origin of the packages. Unsurprisingly, authorities pursued the buyer and not the vendor. They found that the man had connected with a darknet vendor who shipped their products from the Netherlands. The Netherlands and Austria have somewhat of a history when it comes to combatting drug trafficking.

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The prosecutor neglected to detail, at the sentence hearing, why and how the 22-year-old became a suspect. In many cases, especially those involving packages from high-profile countries like the Netherlands, customs officers or postal inspectors will intercept a package or flag an address. In several Austrian cases previously covered by DeepDotWeb, the German Federal Criminal Police Office alerted Austrian authorities after customs officers in Frankfurt, Germany, noticed suspicious packages headed towards Austria. This case had an element often missing in similar cases: the buyer of the majority of defendant’s ketamine was a 17-year-old who resold at parties in Burgenland.

And information from the prosecution indicated that Austrian authorities had identified the 17-year-old buyer, given that they revealed his age during the hearing. In many cases heard at the Vienna District Court, the court would hear how customs in Austria or Germany flagged the package. In this case, though, the prosecution only spoke of the 22-year-old’s customers, specifically the party-going reseller. If any customer of the minor had spoken to the police, investigators undoubtedly followed the trail of evidence back to the newly-convicted defendant.

Philipp Wolm, the defense attorney, said the defendant’s drug of choice was marijuana. In order to pay for his habit, Wolm said, the man turned to drug distribution. “Somebody told me that I can make some money out of it,” the 22-year-old said. “Since this was a family member, I would not like to say anything about it,” he added. Judge Andreas Hautz asked if the ketamine sales had “paid off.” They had not, according to the defendant. He said that he had learned from his mistakes and planned to start a new life with his girlfriend once the court released him.

Judge Andreas Hautz sentenced the man to three years under court supervision and mandatory drug therapy or rehab sessions.

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