A young man faced a judge to receive sentencing for buying several packages of ecstasy from suppliers on the darknet. The man, referred to without a name or age, lived in the town of Frankenberg an der Eder in Hesse, Germany. Between an unknown date and the summer of 2017, the defendant had—by his own confession—ordered hundreds of ecstasy pills than the police had learned through their own investigation. Although he had originally received one charge when the police arrested him in late 2017, the defendant picked up two more charges between his arrest and sentencing. And he still left the courtroom with a sentence considered fair by the entire courtroom.
Law enforcement intercepted a small package of ecstasy in the summer of 2017. They would not have seized this package if the vendor had applied the correct postage; the vendor, like so many others in similar cases, forgot to properly—or perhaps accurately—weigh the package. Since the package weighed more than the applied postage covered, postal workers pulled the package from the mail stream. Normally, when this happens, the package gets sent back to the return address. This time, though, German law enforcement seized the package and the ecstasy pills inside.
The police did not make a move immediately after seizing the package, though. And the defendant likely suspected the package had simply gotten lost. He later admitted he had purchased multiple orders of 100 pills or more. He also added that he had ordered and received the packages.
Police in Bavaria effectively forced the next move. They “received a tip” about an apartment that a darknet drug vendor had been using to package and traffic ecstasy pills and MDMA. Investigators in Bavaria conducted their own operation into the drug operation and the inherent drug bust that would follow. After gathering enough evidence to secure arrest warrants, police in Bavaria raided the apartment. They found drugs, scales, computers, and a USB drive the vendor had allegedly used to store the orders and addresses of his buyers.
On that list, the Bavarian investigators found the name and address of the young man who had lost a small package of ecstasy to German authorities. They relayed this information to the police equipped to handle the case in the same district the defendant had been living. The police reportedly learned of every time the defendant had picked up a package from the postal service. They also found and recorded bitcoin payments used to pay the vendor. And then, towards the end of 2017, the police arrested the Frankenberg man for illicitly acquiring narcotics. They later changed him with two counts of illicitly purchasing narcotics and one count of attempted acquisition of illegal substances.
The defendant refused to help investigators. Refused to speak during his court appearances. But, during his sentencing hearing, the prosecutor stopped asking questions and worked on a plea agreement. In exchange for a full confession, the court would only require a monetary fine instead of time in jail. The defendant took the deal. He went above and beyond what the court had called for in the agreement.
He admitted ordering more drugs than the prosecution had suspected. But the officials kept their end of the deal; Judge Karin Fahlberg ordered nothing but a 1,500 euro fine.