At the Stuttgart District Court, a judge sentenced a man from Schorndorf to four years in prison for selling drugs purchased on darkweb marketplaces, to people in Schorndorf and in Stuttgart. During the hearing, the court reviewed how German law enforcement launched the investigation into the drug dealer after someone alerted them of an indirect threat the man had posted on Facebook. Other Facebook posts, according to information revealed during the hearing, were used as evidence that the defendant had not lived as innocently as he had once claimed.
In a Facebook post, the 42-year-old from the Baden-Württemberg town of Schorndorf wrote that he had a samurai sword and could use it to cut off the heads of unspecified people. He wrote that he would then play basketball with the severed heads of the people he had killed. The post, presented without context by the prosecution was rejected as evidence at the sentencing hearing. This potential testimonial evidence did not appear to have been shared as a direct threat of harm to any specific person or group of people. And given the lack of charges related to violence, the post likely was not considered a threat after investigators looked into the Facebook post. However, prosecutors revealed that the post had led to the man’s arrest for drug possession and distribution.
At the hearing, the prosecution only mentioned the Facebook posts in passing. They did not discuss how a Facebook post led to a raid at a 42-year-old’s house. But the prosecution did use several additional Facebook posts as references that pointed to the defendant’s style of life, employment, and even apparent failures to live by his own code as a drug dealer. “Don’t get high on your own supply,” the man wrote in a post the prosecution mentioned in court. The defense pointed out that the quote was from a famous movie.
Regardless, the man admitted that he had actually been getting high on his own supply. And that he had used roughly six grams of amphetamine “with his morning coffee” on a daily basis. He also admitted to smoking several joints nightly and routinely using “male potency pills.” He sourced the drugs for his personal use and for his so-called “drug business” from the same darkweb supplier, he admitted in court. Evidence discovered by investigators confirmed that he had been making routine drug purchases from several darkweb vendors. The investigators confirmed that the man had been purchasing amphetamine, marijuana, hashish, and potency pills from darkweb vendors with the intent to distribute the substances.
The drug dealer, the court heard, made the majority of his sales at the Schorndorf train station and in the parking lots of nearby stores or shops. Investigators discovered flyers the man had handed out to customers and that he had left at strategic locations throughout Stuttgart. The police found text messages on the man’s cell phone that incriminated numerous customers. At the time of the hearing, the prosecutor said that local police had already arrested three individuals he had been in contact with through text messages. Although the texts added to the hard evidence the prosecution had stacked in their favor, the text messages proved something that likely had more of an impact on the drug dealer’s prison sentence; the dealer had no objection to selling drugs to “children.”
Other evidence, including a ledger that detailed the debts owed by various customers, indicated that the man had also distributed drugs via the USPS. However, the prosecution mentioned darkweb drug distribution only in passing and as a crime less detrimental to society than the local drug distribution.
In addition to an assortment of drugs, the police found 24 cans of pepper spray and a “samurai sword” while searching the man’s house. In court, the prosecution presented the sword as evidence and even demonstrated the blade’s cutting ability by slicing through cardboard. The sword, despite the defense’s claim that it was only decorative, led to armed drug trafficking charges. The 24 cans of pepper spray did not help either.
The judge sentenced the drug dealer to four years in prison and told him that he needed to seek drug therapy. He also said that the man was young enough to turn his life around and that prison would hopefully help facilitate a positive change.