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Two Sentenced for Roles in Darkweb Drug Ring

Two members of a darkweb drug trafficking group that operated from the Netherlands as well as from Germany received prison sentences for shipping packages of drugs to customers worldwide.

A 26-year-old and a 27-year-old were sentenced to a total of five years and nine months in prison at a recent hearing in the Münster District Court. Both defendants, according to prosecutors, worked as shippers for a drug trafficking organization that operated on the darkweb.

In early April 2015, law enforcement arrested five people in connection to a drug trafficking operation in in Gronau and Burgsteinfurt. All five co-conspirators had worked for the so-called “leader” of the operation as shippers and packagers. After the arrests, the head of the drug trafficking organization hired new shippers. The 26-year-old and 27-year-old were among those hired.

The court heard how the leader of the organization operated several vendor accounts on undisclosed darkweb marketplaces. After an order came in on a darkweb market, the head of the operation would send the customer’s shipping address to the two defendants from the Netherlands. The men packaged the appropriate substances and then dropped the packages off at nearby mailboxes.

Both men worked for the drug trafficking operation for less than one month; law enforcement arrested the leader of the organization on April 30, 2015. Investigators found evidence proving the group had accepted and processed more than 3,880 orders. They sold more than 49 kilograms of ecstasy and three kilograms of cocaine, the court heard.

On July 1, 2015, investigators searched the apartments belonging to the two package shippers in the Netherlands. Inside the apartments, the police found cigarette butts with DNA that matched DNA found on other evidence, including on packaging supplies.

The 26-year-old defendant received a sentence of three years and three months in prison. The 27-year-old received a prison sentence of two years and six months. According to information heard in court, the 27-year-old started working for the group at a later date than the 26-year-old.