On November 16, the Skaraborg District Court charged four individuals for drug distribution. The group sold 15 types of drugs and shipped them across the globe— mostly to the US. They also hand-delivered products within Sweden, investigators explained. Chief Inspector Lars Johansson said “this is the largest drug case ever,” at a recent press conference.
Many of the initial figures were majorly inaccurate. The case was an undeniably large case when we wrote about it. But the latest announcement revealed that it was even bigger than we thought. The new numbers, especially those regarding volume and income, literally doubled. For instance, a local news outlet reported 3,500 pages of court documents. Johansson, during the press release, reported 5,000 pages.
The Skaraborg District Court in Skövde set aside several days for the trial and this was not a commonplace. They also set aside days for the reading of the indictment. 5,000 pages, he said, “was very extensive.”
Many teams and individuals investigated the case, Johansson said. Serious Crimes task forces and “the reconnaissance group in Skövde.” Local police contacted the National Operations Division of the Federal Police. Encrypted communication required external specialists to crack them.
The group sold drugs that, when valued together, equalled $711,981, he said. At the time of the arrest, Johansson said the group only sold $50,000 in drugs. Specialists analyzed the computers the group used and found 6,000 transactions. The number of identified buyers, though, stayed the same. Johansson passed the buyer information on to relevant authorities. “So we’ll see if it leads to something more,” he said. Those buyers can be added to Sweden’s growing list of identified buyers.
The group’s four members received individual charges. And one of the members was not even formally charged. From our previous article on their arrest and charges:
Only three were charged with serious drug charges. in relation to the darknet distribution. The two main suspects—the cohabiting couple—were charged with serious drug charges. Their apartment in Mariestad served as a base of operations. The 35-year-old man, according to the indictment, was responsible for obtaining the drugs. And also managing the online sales and shipping. The 25-year-old woman created accounts where the group could deposit their earnings.The other main suspect, the 30-year-old man, was also charged for serious drug crimes. He, too, obtained the drugs and handled sales. His arrest was also the group’s major downfall. Police were able to access his computer and encrypted communication.
Johansson said he was hoping for a very strict punishment. “In a similar case, the Court of Appeals sentenced two drugs dealers six and ten years,” he explained. “This should have an even higher penalty given how extensive their trade was. Though of course it is the district court’s discretion.”
The biggest challenge is explaining the darknet to the court, the detective said. He added that the darknet’s structure and offerings would be hard to explain. The court does not see many cases of this scale nor any cases related to the darknet. A sentencing date has not been set.