Only days after receiving a prison sentence of almost 10 years for running a darknet drug distribution operation, Rhett D. learned that a judge had seriously considered his request for drug and alcohol rehabilitation. As a result of that serious consideration, the convicted vendor will have the opportunity to leave prison completing his sentence.
Rhett D., known only as the darknet market vendor Mr. Drogenkommandant or Drug Commander until his recent conviction, ran a drug operation with an international reach from his home in the Netherlands suburb of Deventer. Although German law enforcement have a reputation for taking down major darknet vendors, forum owners, and child abuse sites, they had additional motivation in their case against someone who had been living in the Netherlands for the majority of his life.
Although the dealer had been living in the Netherlands for roughly 20 years (he is currently 29-years-old), he was no stranger to Germany. He was especially familiar with the German city of Bocholt. He traveled to Germany on a regular and—as the police later discovered—predictable schedule. His trips to Germany served two purposes, a Coburg court heard in early July.
His customers primarily lived in Germany, the prosecutor explained to the Coburg court. The dealer believed that he could or would successfully evade the police if he shipped his drugs to German customers from within Germany. Eventually trafficking drugs across a border grew too risky and time consuming for the vendor. He employed numerous young adults to traffic packages to postal stations in Germany. Although the investigators have not revealed the number of employees who had worked for Rhett D., they did announce the arrests of six teenagers caught delivering the vendor’s product.
The teenagers proved useful in the arrest and conviction of the Drug Commander. Like the Netherlands police who had been helping the German Federal Criminal Police Office, the former employees knew the man’s habits and other intimate details pertaining to the drug operation that had allegedly spread fear throughout German homes. The judge told the courtroom that the purity of Drug Commander’s cocaine was “frightening.”
Rhett D. also routinely traveled to a specific hotel in Germany to conduct business as himself when dealing with large buyers and customers who sold the drugs purchased from Drug Commander. On one of these trips, the police caught him. The takedown proved more eventful then the police had hoped; the darknet vendor claimed that he did not realize he was being arrested at the time of his arrest. That is the explanation he gave authorities after ramming police vehicles with his own car.
In court, the dealer explained that his mother had forced him to move to the Netherlands at a young age to escape military obligation. At the age of 14, he explained, he had already started regularly using drugs. Over time, casual drug use became an addiction. The arrest was a wake-up call, the man explained in court. And his words seemingly impacted the judge’s decision even after sentencing.
“If the therapy is successful, Rhett D. is likely to be released under certain conditions if he has completed half his sentence,” the judge confirmed.