According to official court documents, the Amstetten man had been addicted to narcotics since the age of 14. Soon after he turned 18, he did not have any money to finance his addictions so he bought drugs from the dark net. The 18-year-old ordered from mostly vendors based in the Netherlands or Poland. After the packages arrived, he sold the drugs to his customers to make profits.
Patrick Hinterleitner from the St. Pöltner’s Prosecutor’s Office said when law enforcement authorities performed a home search at the accused he resisted fiercely when police tried to arrest him in June. The 18-year-old wanted to prevent authorities from seizing the narcotics he had in his home. In addition to that, he threatened an officer and kicked another in the leg.
Law enforcement authorities found a mailbox key at the man’s home. When they opened it at the post office, they found various narcotics and 20 pieces of counterfeit five Euro notes. Prosecutors accuse the 18-year-old of selling the counterfeit money for profit, however, the defendant denied that claim. The Amstetten man confessed before juvenile judge Markus Grünberger that he bought 20 pieces of Euro notes, but the 18-year-old said he only purchased them for “viewing”, not to use or sell them. Hinterleitner argued that both expenses, costs, and criminal consequences had no relation if the accused only bought the counterfeit money just to “view” it.
In June, the accused was arrested and put in investigative detention for seven weeks.
“My client has taken a positive development. This was particularly favored by the feel of the tragedy!” Christian Reiter from defense said.
The judge sentenced the 18-year-old to 15 months in prison. The judge said the reason for the long sentence is that he wants to keep the accused clean from addiction and crime.
It remains unclear how law enforcement authorities caught the 18-year-old.
Like in Germany, Austria is waging a war against dark web illegal activity. One of the most recent cases was a 45-year-old Austrian dark web vendor who was arrested in the past few months. According to police information, the man was watched by the Steyr narcotics force from spring, 2016. Austrian law enforcement authorities did not suspect the 45-year-old of selling drugs on the dark web. However, after border authorities arrested a driver and intercepted a package, which was being delivered to the accused, it raised suspicion in the police. The seized package was not enough to raid the man’s home so authorities decided to check every parcel that arrived from Germany or the Netherlands addressed to the 45-year-old’s home. All packages contained a wholesale amount of narcotics.
When law enforcement authorities gathered enough evidence they raided the man’s home. Police seized numerous amounts of computers in the 45-year-old’s apartment and found handwritten customer data. Forensic teams screened the data on the dark net vendor’s computers. The search resulted in the identification of 350 customers. In addition to that, police found out the man conducted 400+ sales on the dark web.
“Seventy to 80 percent of the buyers are domestic,” an investigator said. The suspect made “several thousand euros per month,” another investigator wrote.