An electronics engineer from Rosenheim, Bavaria, just received 22 months imprisonment for making 16 separate drug purchases on the darknet. The convoluted case dated back to 2013 and was brought to Bavarian authorities by the US FBI.
Every aspect of the case was controversial, OVB reported after the trial on November 7. The 28-year-old electronics engineer, currently living in Bad Aibling, made 16 drug purchases on the DNMs. The purchases were from American darknet vendors.
Prosecutors argued that many more transactions may have existed but only 16 were discovered.
All of the drug buys—taking place in 2013—were of significant quantity. The prosecution made every effort to prove the quantity of drugs, especially in one specific shipment, were for distribution. They, the prosecution, wanted the 28-year-old Aiblinger to be punished for drug trafficking crimes.
The defense, however, disputed the prosecution’s claims; the larger-than-normal shipments had nothing to do with trafficking, they argued. Some of the drugs ordered were twice as expensive in Rosenheim as they were online. The defense also pointed out that some were not cheaper when ordering online but there was justification; price was not as important to the defendant as the anonymity and safety of ordering online.
At some point in time, the FBI got involved in the suspect’s purchases. The FBI, news outlets explained, gained access to the darknet vendor’s account. Most customer data was then compromised, including that of the 28-year-old Aiblinger. The FBI sent customer names, addresses, and IP addresses to the police and customs authorities in every relevant country.
Evidence proved, beyond reasonable doubt, that the electronics engineer purchased drugs from the darknet. He even admitted to this in the courtroom while in front of Judge Christian Merkel.
The defendant pointed out that any evidence from police regarding drug trafficking was no accurate. He yielded, however, that he could see it being misunderstood as evidence of drug trafficking but it was far from provable.
The lawyer, Jürgen Liebhart, explained that the allegations—with the exception of one—were all correct. He went on to explain another reason his client ordered so many drugs: friends. Liebhart’s client, the 28-year-old Aiblinger, split the drugs up amongst his few friends. They all tried and used the drugs together but no trafficking ever occurred. The price, he said, was divided evenly and no profits were made.
Friends of the defendant were not called in as witnesses, according to several sources. The process would have been too lengthy.
Three years passed since the defendant used drugs of any kind. He claimed his life had changed and he was living with his partner who was also drug-free.
The prosecutor said, in his closing statements, that he did not believe the defendant with regard to drug trafficking. He said that he believed the drugs were almost explicitly for resale. He, however, did take the 28-year-old’s current life status into consideration. He said that since the defendant had no criminal record and had ceased drug use for some time now, a prison sentence of two years would be sufficient. Furthermore, the sentence could be suspended upon completion of two years on probation.
Judge Christian Merkel closed the case, sentencing the defendant to two years imprisonment, suspended upon completion of two years probation. She, too, agreed that the evidence supporting the drug trafficking charges was lacking and failed to convince her.