A Federal Court in Germany overturned a verdict in the case against a drug vendor with shops on the clearnet and darkweb. Due to procedural errors made during the original trial, the defendant could have his sentence of ten years in prison reduced significantly, depending on the outcome of the new trial.
In 2017, the Meiningen District Court sentenced a man from Thuringia, Germany, to ten years in prison for selling drugs over the darkweb and clearnet. Investigators found evidence that the defendant had completed more than 4,000 transactions between his clearnet vendor shop, finestdrugs.to, and his darkweb vendor accounts. The massive number of transactions appears to be the reason the Federal Court of Justice overturned the verdict; the defense argued that the Meiningen District Court could not have sufficiently examined the contents of all 4,000 packages. Some of the packages, according to the defense, would not have been in violation of the strict drug law that led to the ten-year prison sentence.
According to MDR, the prosecution did not know the active ingredients of some of the drugs listed on the defendant’s drug shop. Some of the products, such as “hello kitty," “hand grenades," “chiller," and “Master," had a lower concentration of active ingredients than previously known to the court. The Meiningen District Court had sentenced 33-year-old as if all 4,000 cases had fallen under the strict Narcotics Act when many of the cases would supposedly have fallen under a less serious drug law. Milder drug law violations would result in a milder sentence.
The defendant and his 19-year-old accomplice caught the attention of authorities in 2017 after they had shipped a package of drugs to the wrong address. The recipient of the package alerted the police. Investigators had no trouble identifying finestdrugs.to as the source of the shipment; the defendant had included an advertisement of his webshop in the package of drugs.
On the webshop and the accounts on darkweb marketplaces, the defendant had listings for “almost the entire range of illigal substances,” one news outlet reported. The shop included listings for marijuana, hashish, amphetamine, opioids, and cocaine, among many others. During the original trial, the reading of the indictment alone lasted three days and included the identity of the person(s) who had placed an order, the date of the order, quantity and type of drugs in each shipment, and the monetary value of each shipment.
The court will read the same indictment during the new trial. The date of the trial is still unknown, according to a spokesperson of the Meiningen District Court.