“Germanteam” Darknet Drug Vendor Stands for a Second Trial

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The two brothers from Werries, Germany, appeared again before the Dortmund district court. Their appearance in court was for their trial in the conspiracy to distribute darknet drugs. This part of the trial should last through November.

The German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and the Central Contact Point for Cybercrime in North Rhine-Westphalia set up an undercover cybercrime team that discovered darknet drug vendors, a 54-year-old man named Adam Heinrich and a 45-year-old identified as Christof Heinrich, Adam’s brother. They both resided in Hamm during the time they accessed the deep web for drugs.

The subsequent fictitious business led the investigators to a residence in Hamm. Police invaded and searched the two apartments of hitherto respectable brothers. Drugs were confiscated of course, but what was more important were the documents found outlining the drug sales and the customers involved. The two were eventually arrested within a day or two of the raid. During their first police interrogations, the men admitted to their crimes.

For months, Christof distributed drugs from his apartment building in Werries on the Darknet. These synthetic opioids were purchased from vendors in China, who shipped the orders by mail directly to the residence in Hamm.

According to investigators, a 15-year-old Norwegian died in March last year, and the death was directly linked to both men, who delivered the package to the boy. With confessions already on record, the two await for a sentence hearing.

Last month, the two brothers and a third conspirator first appeared before a district court in Dortmund. They were accused of trafficking illicit drugs through the dark web. The duo distributed fentanyl, carfentanil, and other synthetic drugs on many darknet marketplaces. They used the darknet vendor account ‘GermanTeam’.

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During the first trial, prosecutor Matthias Röcken emphasized that the two brothers knew that artificial opioids were extremely dangerous and more potent than heroin. He further asserted, that “the duo had distributed the intoxicants on the darknet, and delivered them worldwide to customers not known to them. They did not know whether these consumers were drugged or completely naïve in dealing with the substances prior to their overdoses. It is therefore particularly difficult to punish them lightly.  The defendants and their lawyers now have time to think and comment on the court’s proposal by mid-November.”

Already on the table are minimum sentences because the two have already admitted their guilt. Each brother can receive no less than four to seven years. Originally the prosecution was requiring a maximum penalty before the confessions. The lawyers will now work the decision with the judge.

During the second trial, it was revealed why they entered this dangerous business. The younger brother earned as a craftsman for years on foreign construction sites and it was never enough. Similarly, he was threatened with unemployment by his employer and made some very rash decisions.

“The whole thing was not rocket science,” one of the three admitted in testimony during the first trial. “It was a research of two or three days to find out who supplies the substances and who wants to lose weight,” he continued.

The drugs which were already lethal in the milligram range were purchased by the brothers from China. They were sold for months to consumers unknown to them through the Darknet. The prosecution estimated over 700 individual cases.

“I wrote that the substances were very intense, and I hoped that the customers could handle it,” said the 45-year-old. Today he is concerned and speechless about the fact that a 15-year-old Norwegian boy died in March 2017 after consuming the delivered substances.

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Also on trial is a third accomplice, 27-year-old Marc Oliver D. who allegedly supported the illegal and highly dangerous activities of the two brothers. He is expected to be imprisoned for a minimum of three years.

Towards the end of the trial, the lawyer of the two brothers had again pointed to the naivety of the brothers; with their full name and a registered e-mail address the drugs were delivered to them directly. They had operated their buoyant drug trade with the substances that were readily available and not a punishable offense in China.

The final sentencing of the brothers and their accomplice had not yet been announced but should be clear within 4-6 weeks.

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