An Austrian man allegedly ordered large amounts of amphetamine on dark web marketplaces and then resold the amphetamine and other substances to local buyers. Police accused the man of ordering drugs on the dark web since 2017.
In 2017, a man from Salzburg, Austria, allegedly started selling drugs to his friends, who also lived in the city of Salzburg. He only had a few customers at first. Eventually, by the end of 2018, the alleged drug dealer had 20 known customers who purchased large amounts of illegal substances from the defendant. The majority of his customers purchased amphetamine or ecstasy pills. After six package seizures, Austrian authorities secured an arrest warrant and a warrant to search the man’s apartment. They arrested him at the apartment where he confessed that he had been ordering drugs from various dark web vendors and reselling them to customers in Salzburg.
In an announcement from the National Police Directorate of Salzburg, officials credited the Customs Office in Frankfurt, Germany, with gathering the evidence vital to the arrest of the suspected drug dealer. Between September 2017 and August 2018, the Customs Office in Frankfurt intercepted six packages of amphetamines that a vendor had shipped to the suspect’s apartment in Salzburg. The packages contained a combined total of 500 grams of amphetamines. The Customs Office may not have sent information to Austrian law enforcement immediately or even after the first package interception. As a result, the alleged drug dealer ordered drugs to his own apartment and resold them to customers from the same apartment for more than a year.
The Customs Office may have forwarded the information on the seized packages as soon as they intercepted the packages. However, Frankfurt is such a large hub for intra national and international mail that they seize far more packages than they can realistically handle immediately after seizing the packages. As German Customs revealed in early 2018, the seized packages of drugs primarily contribute to software that helps law enforcement identify patterns and profile packages. Postal services in many countries have similar systems. The Frankfurt Customs Office processes so many pieces of mail headed to addresses throughout Europe that other countries often rely on German Customs for dark web drug cases and similar mail-related investigations.
If the Customs Office sent the information about the package and the intended recipient to Austrian authorities shortly after receiving the first package, Austrian authorities still needed more than a year to investigate and arrest the dark web drug dealer who immediately confessed after his arrest. Prior to the arrest, investigators thought the suspect only dealt with or sold amphetamines. However, after his arrest, they learned that he sold amphetamines, cocaine, MDMA, and cannabis. In addition to the illegal substances, the man also allegedly purchased counterfeit euros from another dark web vendor.
Austrian police officers learned this information after raiding the defendant’s apartment in early December. According to the announcement, the police found more than two kilograms of amphetamine in his apartment, an undisclosed number of marijuana plants, counterfeit euros, and stolen or cloned credit and debit cards. They also found 1,300 ecstasy pills and roughly 100 grams of cocaine. The police found and seized a cell phone, a laptop, bank records, and other incriminating records stored on either the laptop or cell phone.
After investigators had examined the suspect’s electronic devices, they concluded that he had ordered drugs from dark web vendors on almost 50 separate occasions. His purchases totaled more than $20,000. Investigators also identified many of the suspected drug dealer’s customers. Austrian police have already arrested an unknown number of individuals within the 20-30 age range. All of his customers lived in Salzburg.
After his arrest, the defendant admitted possession of every drug found at his apartment. Officials will release more information after an upcoming hearing and meeting at the Salzburg Public Prosecutor’s Office. A judge allowed the suspect to remain outside of jail until the upcoming hearing.