At Ludwigsburg District Court, Judge Franziska Scheffel sentenced a 23-year-old darknet drug vendor to a suspended sentence of two years. At a previous court appearance, the court convicted the young man of the commercial trade of illegal narcotics and drug possession. According to information revealed in the courtroom, the man had been selling cocaine on the now-defunct Hansa market.
The 23-year-old launched his operation in May 2016. He continued to sell until his March 2018 arrest. According to the court, law enforcement caught the man amidst a nationwide crackdown on darknet drug markets and particularly darknet drug dealers. The Dortmund Criminal Police were among the “various authorities” in Germany that targeted darknet drug dealers. During this period in 2017, the police placed a heavy emphasis on package interception.
German law enforcement, as seen in a number of German drug vendor busts covered by DeepDotWeb, have intercepted more packages than any country with the same or similar volume of mail. Much of this is due to specially trained investigators and software that builds patterns based on previously intercepted packages. The Dortmund Criminal Police Office was one of the police offices in Germany that investigated darknet drug cases leading up to and immediately following the Hansa market bust. During their investigation, they intercepted packages from the 23-year-old defendant.
The Dortmund Criminal Police Office discovered the origin of the packages and sent the information to Ludwigsburg authorities. Ludwigsburg authorities then raided the 23-year-old’s house. They found pills, scales, bags, a money machine, burner phones, and computers with incriminating evidence stored on them. Authorities released no information concerning the contents of the computers seized during the raid at the man’s home. The police also took DNA evidence and recorded the defendant’s fingerprints. They released him shortly after the arrest as the investigation continued.
Prior to the fall of Hansa, the Federal Criminal Police Office had taken “screenshots” of the accounts that belonged to vendors in Germany. Investigators had made an undercover purchase of 100 grams of cocaine from an undisclosed vendor. They analyzed the package after the investigators had picked it up from the location they had given the vendor. Unfortunately for the defendant, the Ludwigsburg authorities had taken samples of his DNA and scanned his fingerprints.
Investigators found both on the packages they had ordered from the undisclosed darknet vendor’s account on Hansa market. The police again raided his home and arrested him. They placed him in jail in March 2018. He remained in jail until his June court appearance, and the court found him guilty of distributing drugs and possessing drugs. The prosecution had initially charged the man with firearm distribution charges but dropped them at the hearing. At the second appearance—at the Ludwigsburg District Court before Judge Franziska Scheffel—the young man received his sentence for his crimes.
Judge Scheffel sentenced the man to two years in jail, suspended upon completion of 200 hours of community service and a 9,000 euro fine.