After years of investigation and more than half a year in jail, a 43-year-old suspected darknet dealer and two of his co-defendants stood in front of a judge in a Berlin court on an early January morning. Witnesses in the courtroom said the suspects remained silent during the trial. The prosecution accused the trio of selling close to a million dollars worth of drugs on the darknet.
According to the narrative heard in court, the 43-year-old man started selling on the darknet in 2012. The prosecution estimated that he had filled 5,600 orders of marijuana and cocaine on the darknet between 2012 and 2013. During that first stretch of drug dealing that ended in 2013, the man earned $767,046, the prosecution said. The value of his money now, even the prosecution did not know—he had earned $767,046 several years ago, but the value of Bitcoin has increased tremendously since then.
His 40-year-old wife and friend of the same age stood beside him in court, both accused as helping him run the operation. Starting 2015, the prosecution said, the 43-year-old ran a drug trafficking operating operation with his wife and his engineer friend. The three, with the primary defendant as the leader, sold drugs on the darknet until their arrest in April, 2017. During the two year investigation that led to the tri’s capture, authorities tracked accomplices and buyers across Germany.
Investigators believe the trio sold drugs to hundreds of customers between 2015 and 2017. They allegedly sold various synthetic drugs that the court did not disclose during the trial, along with cocaine and marijuana. At the time of the arrest, German authorities caught the 43-year-old with 1,016,497 dollars worth of Bitcoin. His partner, the 40-year-old engineer, had roughly 130,000 dollars worth of Bitcoin during the arrest, but authorities said the money belonged to the main defendant and the engineer was holding the money for him.
The judges presented the 43-year-old with a possible maximum sentence of seven years prison, assuming the man cooperates with the authorities. They spoke, at one point of a full confession. The investigators know that his two accomplices played a lesser role in the operation. Even the main suspect had allegedly distributed drugs on the darknet since 2012, the indictment only contained charges pertaining to the period of time between 2015 and 2017 when the accomplices became a part of the picture.
Before they joined the scene, the main defendant had allegedly completed roughly 5,600 transactions on various darknet markets. Despite being a case involving massive amounts of money and a large-scale operation, the court proceedings should go smoothly. The trial and sentencing hearings have been scheduled only a few days apart.