The Crimenetwork Takedown draws its circles
A “big fish” from the district of Forchheim fell into the net of drug investigators in June 2020. Now he had to answer to the district court for acquisition and possession of narcotics in no small quantity. The 22-year-old man only avoided a prison sentence because he was convicted under juvenile criminal law. And because the juvenile court chaired by Peter Nellers was very lenient with a suspended sentence of two years, so as not to destroy his future life.
June 23, 2020 was a nationwide “Action Day”: 1400 police officers searched 232 properties and arrested dozens of suspects. Eleven ended up in custody pending trial. There is also a lot going on in Bavaria that early morning. Here, 34 houses and apartments were targeted by the State Criminal Police Office. The investigators have thus succeeded in striking a blow against an illegal stock exchange on which more than 33,000 users were able to buy drugs, weapons, but also credit card and account data just like that. If one had no scruples and the necessary digital small change in the form of Bitcoins.
The investigators of the Central Office for Cybercrime Bavaria, which is located at the General Prosecutor’s Office in Bamberg, got on the trail of the perpetrators through a coup: In May 2019, they were not only able to arrest the administrator of the underground economy forum called “crimenetwork” (a kind of hidden marketplace for criminals). They also managed to seize the server.
It took many months of meticulous analysis to identify the buyers and sellers and trace the flow of money and goods. One of the traces from the vast amount of data led to the district of Forchheim. A house search yielded about 50 grams of marijuana, some ecstasy and amphetamine residues. The “grass” was to be found separated according to sorts in glasses on a shelf. Practical utensils such as crushers, precision scales and sachets, which usually indicate passing on, were also lying around. Hiding behind five user names was a 22-year-old man who had ordered a total of more than three kilograms of hashish and marijuana in 13 orders in 2018.
As a regular customer there
If he had wanted to smoke it all away alone or with his friends, the young man would have had to smoke pot around the clock. The purchase price was more than 21,000 euros. How he was supposed to have financed this from a not too lavish income without a brisk trade in the intoxicating substances was not really discussed in court. In any case, the goods arrived by mail and quite reliably. There was even a rating system on the platform “crimenetwork” to distinguish “serious” drug dealers from those who sent bad or no goods at all. In fact, the quantities the young man wanted varied. At first, he ordered only three or five grams to test the quality. After that, he went higher with 250 grams and also remained loyal as a regular customer.
To do this, he not only used his private smartphone, but also a work computer at his workplace. If one of his suppliers had nothing or perhaps just had problems with the justice system, the young man changed vendors. So it also happened that one of the charges was a so-called “verbal trade”, without drugs or bitcoins having changed hands: they had only agreed on something, which, however, did not materialize.
The young man was given a two-year suspended juvenile sentence only because he had been a legal blank slate up to that point, admitted his deeds unapologetically and lived in a well-ordered family and professional situation. Even lawyer Thomas Skapczyk from Erlangen was critical of the argument with the “soft” drugs. At “his time” in the 1970-ies one could still speak of it. “Now, however, the stuff is so highly potent, probably as a result of Dutch gardener’s art, that many consumers suffer psychological damage.”
For the next three years, the young man must not be guilty of anything more. Initially, he will be supported by a probation officer. He must also pay two fines of 1,800 euros each to the AWO Forchheim and the SKF addiction counseling service. In addition, he is no longer allowed to consume drugs and must undergo urine and hair tests to prove abstinence.
The court dispensed with the “warning shot arrest” of two weeks requested by the public prosecutor’s office. In doing so, it followed the defense attorney, who summarized the principle of juvenile criminal law as follows: “It’s not about hitting people with a stick, but about leading young people back on the right path to a life free of punishment”.