A 33-year-old Dutchman allegedly shipped at least 3,400 packages of drugs to customers in different countries through the Dream Market darkweb marketplace, according to to public prosecutor's office. Prosecutors have accused the man of selling meth, ecstasy, amphetamine, cocaine, and many other drugs on Dream and earning more than $600,000 through his drug trafficking operation.
At the Kleve District Court, the Cologne prosecutor Lisa Klefisch read the 126 charges listed in the indictment for more than an hour and a half. Prosecutors said that the indictment included only a portion of the transactions between the defendant and his customers. Investigators had learned the man had conducted more than 3,400 transaction in total. The reading of an indictment with at least 3,400 charges would have taken significantly longer, one news outlet explained (the reading of the charges would have taken days). It is unclear why the number of transactions was even brought to the attention of the court if the indictment included only a very small portion of the alleged drug sales.
The defendant has been in custody in Cologne since his arrest in late 2018.
Even though the list of charges contained significantly fewer transactions than investigators had uncovered, the indictment still described a drug operation that took readers around a small world tour. The alleged drug vendor shipped packages to customers in San Francisco, Paris, Tehran, Thessaloniki, Riga, Haifa, Christchurch, Buenos Aires, Bucharest, Vienna, and many other cities, according to the prosecutor.
In November 2017 the defendant allegedly set up his shop on Dream Market under the username “BerlinMannschaft” and offered a wide variety of drugs to users of the marketplace. This selection included meth, ecstasy, amphetamine, cocaine, ketamine, MDMA, cannabis, and other substances. Prosecutors claimed that the man had a good reputation on the marketplace with primarily positive feedback about his products and his stealth. They explained that he had often shipped the drugs disguised in packages of different types of speakers. DHL was his courier of choice.
Unsurprisingly, Customs in Frankfurt regularly intercepted the alleged vendor's packages of drugs he had shipped to buyers in the United States. Some of the packages contained up to 1,000 ecstasy pills. German authorities connected the dots between the packing stations where the defendant had been dropping off his packages and the packages seized by Customs in Frankfurt. It is not clear how they connected those packages to the specific vendor account on Dream. However, through an undisclosed or otherwise unknown method, the authorities linked the seized packages to BerlinMannschaft and also to a small number of sites where the defendant had dropped off his packages.
They placed the defendant under surveillance while simultaneously ordering from BerlinMannschaft on Dream Market. They gathered enough evidence for a search warrant and an arrest warrant and executed both at the defendants residence with the cooperation of law enforcement in other jurisdictions (he had a home in Gelderland, Netherlands). During the searches, law enforcement seized drugs and related drug trafficking material. They found evidence that he had earned more $640,000 in Bitcoin through his account on Dream Market.
The defendant's lawyer suggested that his client would admit that he had committed the crimes in the indictment at an upcoming hearing at the Kleve District Court.