In a Bonn district court, a judge sentenced three members of a drug trafficking organization to a probationary period and one to imprisonment of 70 months. At previous hearings, defendants revealed that the defendants were distributing EUR 1.3 million in marijuana and ecstasy to dark web markets.
According to reports by the Cologne Cybercrime Prosecutor (ZAC NRW), the conspirators conducted a professionally organized drug trafficking operation. They sold cannabis and ecstasy on a dark web. The group worked from two repositories. One in Bonn, and the second in St. Augustine. Senior members of the group processed supplier accounts in a number of undisclosed dark spider markets, took orders, and processed payments in bitcoins. Other participants weighed, packaged, labeled, and delivered medicine bags to mailboxes for shipment.
The group caught the attention of law enforcement after one of the conspirators mailed a package of drugs with insufficient francs. The package was returned to the return address indicated on the package. The address belonged to someone who had nothing to do with the drug trade organization. An unsuspecting recipient of the package warned the police and handed the package to investigators.
Police controlled mailboxes in the region. Investigators reportedly reported that traffickers daily dumped up to 200 packages in mailboxes. Monitoring the conspirators responsible for sending the parcels led investigators to the group’s operations base.
In October 2018, Siegburg police raided warehouses and homes in Bonn and St. Augustine owned by members of the drug trade organization. These raids led to the seizure of scales, vacuum packers, packaging and mailing materials and undisclosed quantities of flavored cannabis products. Law enforcement officers detained 12 people in connection with the investigation.
Police detained the conspirators for interrogation. One of the conspirators provided the police with a list of clients with nearly 10,000 names and addresses.
The trial of the first four suspects began on August 30, 2018. The prosecution revealed that traffickers accepted and processed more than 11,000 orders in 10 months. They shipped a total of 83 kilograms of marijuana and marijuana products, as well as an unknown weight of ecstasy. During their work, they earned “almost” 1.3 million euros.
On December 18, the three defendants were found guilty of assisting and facilitating drug trafficking. The judge issued suspended sentences ranging from ten months to two years.
The fourth defendant was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to six years and eight months in prison. The presiding judge allowed the defendant to go home for Christmas and serve his sentence in an open prison.
Two other trials against the eight remaining defendants are ongoing.