In 2015, a 21-year-old homeless man sold an undercover police officer 10 ecstasy pills, two grams of hashish, and marijuana worth $120. Officers arrested the man in 2016 for drug trafficking and the possession of illegal substances. Although the prosecution pushed for prison time for the crimes the judge called “small time,” the defendant walked out of the courtroom on September 14 with only a fine of $1,700.

During his hearing at the Amtsgericht Freudenstadt Magistrates’ court in Freudenstadt, Germany, the courtroom heard from the undercover officer behind those deals. According to the official testimony, the officer and the defendant—now 23-years-old—had met four times. Under the suspicion that the defendant was a drug dealer, the officer approached the dealer for the first time in October 2015.

His suspicions were confirmed when the man offered to sell the officer an ecstasy pill. The officer purchased it. Not four days later, at the same location, the officer meet with the vendor again. At the second meeting, the undercover Freudenstadt Criminal Police Department officer bought a quantity of marijuana valued at $120 (unspecified weight). Those transactions concluded their business for the month of October.

In November, similar events transpired. He approached the dealer at the usual location—a train station where the 23-year-old had set up shop—and bought five ecstasy pills. He claimed that the defendant pulled the pills from a much larger bag of pills. The “larger bag of pills” contained “about 30” pills, the officer claimed. The prosecution wanted the dealer to name his supplier or take the blame for being a larger drug supplier, thanks to this statement.

Claiming this part of the narrative was nothing more than fiction, the 23-year-old adamantly denied having another bag of pills. He had not purchased drugs in bulk from the darknet or otherwise, but wouldn’t reveal where he had obtained the assortment of substances.

Before the arrest, they met one final time. During the fourth deal, the officer purchased four ecstasy pills and two grams of hashish. Months later, city police arrested the man for drug trafficking and possession. As officers made the arrest in March 2016, they found $412 and two grams of amphetamines.

This information came from the undercover officer’s official testimony. And armed with it, the prosecution pushed for a prison sentence of seven months. Several factors, one of which was a sensible and lenient judge, contributed to the relaxed penalty. A second factor was the testimony of another police officer investigating a drug trafficking case. The prosecution, since the 23-year-old refused to finger his supplier, attempted to use that information against him. The testimony of the additional police officer revealed that the defendant himself was not the supplier. He also proved that the defendant sold for no reason other than consumables; although he used drugs, the young man had not “sold drugs for a profit.”

The officer explained the he had been investigating a large-scale drug dealer that purchased in bulk from darknet markets. He resold the drugs, mainly marijuana and ecstasy, to dealers in Freudenstadt. One of those “dealers,” he said, was the defendant.

The defendant had acknowledged his guilt at the beginning of the hearing. And after hearing that another investigation had taken care of the supplier and that the 23-year-old only sold to support himself, the judge denied the Prosecutor’s request. Instead of seven months incarceration, he passed down a penalty in the form of a $1,700 monetary penalty that could be replaced with community service hours.

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