A 24-year-old man from Steinfurt stood before the district court of Münster, accused of playing a role in a large darknet drug trafficking operation. The drug trafficking group had at least 20 members, including several in Greven and Nordwalde who have already received prison sentences for narcotics distribution on a large scale. The defendant’s hearing came to an end and the court had not made a decision regarding the man’s future. The court was scheduled to meet once again at a date in the near future.
The 24-year-old, according to the court, played a fairly significant role. Even if the role would have been minor in any other case, the part he played stood out due to the shipping methods highlighted by the authorities and by the press. The court said the young man managed the packaging and shipment of the drugs. In many cases, even similar cases, a judge will often sentence the shipper to serve a suspended sentence or only a few months in prison. This case may end differently.
For some unknown reason, the majority of the publications that covered the case highlighted the group’s use of empty DVD cases to disguise products. The court explained that the group—and specifically the group’s shipper—packaged drugs inside DVD cases without DVDs. This tactic is neither new or unknown to courts in Germany. People have shipped drugs inside CD and DVD cases before the darknet existed. The method is effective and a cheap shipping solution that fails in the true “stealth” department. An inspector who opens a package he or she (rightly) suspects of containing drugs will find drugs 99% of the time.
The court heard how authorities arrested five men between the ages of 24 and 39 in May 2017. Investigators had uncovered evidence that proved the men had distributed more than 300,000 euros worth of drugs between September 2015 and May 2017. The group sold amphetamine, marijuana, and ecstasy on the darknet. On the first day of the trial, all of the defendants denied their involvement in the drug trafficking scheme. Now, though, five of the 20 known members of the criminal network have been sentenced to four years in prison for darknet drug trafficking. During that struck of time between September 2015 and May 2017, the group sold more than 25 kilograms of various illegal substances.
Authorities confiscated almost 200 packages that had been prepared for shipment and brought them to the Institute for Legal Medicine of the University of Münster (UKM) for analysis and purity testing. The courtroom heard that many of the drugs contained caffeine as a cutting agent. Apparently the tests revealed that as many as 100 of the LSD blotters sold contained only caffeine—something authorities claimed to have suspected.
The trial will continue on February 28. The next verdicts are expected less than a week later on March 2, 2018.
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Darknet Dealers Cut Drugs with Caffeine, New Evidence Reveals