Two German Darknet Drug Dealers Face Trial

Five years after the police uncovered a drug distribution network in Gronau and Burgsteinfurt, an investigative success has led to further criminal proceedings at the Regional Court in Münster. Since Tuesday, the involvement of two men from Almeloe (26 and 27 years old) in the dealer group has been under negotiation. They had first sent drugs by mail from an apartment on Zollstraße in Gronau, then from a vacation home on Drilandsee and finally from a house on Rosenweg in Burgsteinfurt to recipients in different parts of the world. The drugs were offered via the so-called Darknet.

The two defendants are alleged to have assisted for several weeks, starting in April 2015, in portioning delivered drugs from the Netherlands, packing and shipping orders in air bubble bags through public mailboxes. Both are in custody pending trial.

In the first half of April 2015, a similar group of perpetrators was discovered in a Wuppertal apartment – five people were arrested. Their Dutch “head” thereupon hired new helpers especially in the Münsterland region and in places near the border in the Netherlands, including the accused. They largely admitted their involvement on Tuesday.

The younger one operated a vacuum device to shrink-wrap drugs. The older one made the “goods” ready for shipment. The two were part of the network’s “packaging unit,” the prosecutor stated in the indictment. The Dutch organizer of the network offered the illegal substances in Darknet at so-called market places. He was arrested on April 30, 2015.

On July 1, 2015 the drug station in Steinfurt was blown up. The now 27-year-old “boss” of the packers was later sentenced to nine years in prison for illegal trafficking in no small amount of narcotics, another accomplice of the group to eleven years. On Tuesday she declared as a witness that the two accused had left the group relatively early. Investigators had calculated from seized lists that the network had made 3882 “individual orders” in the weeks of its drug trafficking, the prosecutor said, including 3.3 kilos of cocaine and 49 kilos of ecstasy.

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