A 29-year-old responsible for large-scale drug trafficking through the darknet has been sentenced to nine years and six months in prison. The young man was charged and handed the sentence by the presiding Judge, Klaus Halves, in a German Court in Coburg district. The convict was brought to court to answer to charges on drug dealing on the deep web where he operated under the username ‘Mister Drug Commander’. He is reportedly responsible for commercial drug dealing on several trading platforms on the darknet.
While he primarily carried out his trade through the darknet, he additionally conducted personal deliveries to customers in Germany. Judge Halves, during the sentencing expressed shock at the quality of the cocaine dealt with. Police found the man popularly known as the ‘Dutchman’ in possession of pure grade cocaine.
During a search in his apartment in Bocholt, North Rhine – Westphalia, Netherlands, police seized 1,000 ecstasy tabs and about a kilogram of heroin. The man had been under police watch for some time after the arrest of six youngsters who were his customers. The six, popularly referred to in police circles as the ‘Neustadter youth’, confessed to the drug dealings giving police information that linked to the Dutch and his subsequent monitoring.
The surveillance on his activities revealed to police the extent of darknet operations which they previously were not aware of. In a shocking encounter, officers found out a flourishing drug marketplace that operated parallel to the clearnet and unwatched.
The six youth who helped blow his cover had also appeared before the same judge on earlier dates. They in the same measure astonished the judge with how they meticulously managed a lucrative drug business. At their tender age range of only 16 to 18, their operations were top notch giving experienced enforcement officers a run for their money tracking them down.
Well organized network
The juvenile gang was led by an 18-year-old who initiated and maintained contact with the Dutchman on the deep web. He was assisted by his girlfriend who managed the calls and arranging appointments. The only girl in the group also doubled up in packaging and delivering of goods aided by a further three boys in the group. A final 17-year-old was hired to handle the IT part of the business, setting up access to the darknet. Police suspect that he was the highest paid. All the six members were school going. How they managed to balance school work and the drug dealing trade remains a surprise to the authorities. Officers described them as ‘harmless looking’.
They dealt in marijuana, ecstasy, speed and high grade cocaine supplied by the Dutchman. They were arrested during a burt at a fast food parking lot after being lured by police. The arresting officers were not aware of the number of the youth in the group. According to their investigations, they expected a smaller number due to their diligence, high professionalism and large scale dealing. They revealed that the Dutchman had sold to them 10kgs of marijuana, 100 grams of pure grade cocaine and large quantities of ecstasy tablets. They ran a successful business from February 2017 until their arrest in October of the same year.
The Dutchman was arrested by undercover officers as he made a delivery. He was also charged for ramming into a police vehicle while escaping arrest. The judge noted that his actions posed a risk to other road users and charged him for it accordingly. In his defense however, he claimed that he had not recognized them as officers and took off in fright. His claims were dismissed.
During his case hearing, he was put under psychiatric assessment where his psychiatrist declared him a drug addict. It was argued in court that his addiction may have contributed to his misconduct. Similar to the Neustadter youths, he confessed to his activities. He therefore opted for a plea agreement for a penalty of 9 to 10 years. The judge delivered the nine years six months ruling with a 24 month therapy. His lawyer Grabner Straubing pleaded for a sentence of less than nine years which was not granted. It remains unclear whether he will appeal against the judgment. Another Dutchman of the same age was jailed last year for running international narcotics dealings through the deep web from his apartment.