Saturday, March 25, 2017

German Gets Lesser Sentence Due To Active Addiction Treatment

The Marburg Magistrate Court sentenced a 34-year-old to two years of probation for ordering narcotics from the dark web. Since the suspect reported that he was addicted to drugs for a long time and actively took part in a therapy program, he received a lesser sentence from the judge.

The prosecution charged the defendant with 10 drug-related charges. According to official court information, the 34-year-old, between the end of 2014 and May 2016, ordered narcotics from the dark web. The suspect purchased substances in various amounts, sometimes the quantity was small, although, he also placed large orders. The prosecution claimed that once the 34-year-old ordered 360 grams of amphetamine in one package. The goods were delivered to his residential address or to a mailbox possibly rented at a local post office. However, law enforcement authorities intercepted some of the defendant’s parcels and identified the suspect.

“That’s all right, I ordered that,” the 34-year-old said when police questioned him about the narcotics. The suspect admitted that he regularly attended parties at the time, where he consumed drugs. He ordered the narcotics for these parties, according to the defendant.

“On eBay you cannot order them,” presiding judge Dominik Best said on the trial.

The defendant described the whole procedure how he ordered narcotics from the dark web: he used the Tor browser to connect to a dark web market, and exchanged cash to bitcoins for marketplace payments.

The 34-year-old spent about 2,500 euros on dark net drug orders. After he saw that some packages did not arrive, he became suspicious and paranoid, he said.

According to police information, law enforcement authorities took down the website the defendant was ordering narcotics from, identifying about 40 customers, including the accused. It is unclear whether authorities are referring to a whole dark net website selling drugs or a vendor shop. Since investigators identified only 40 customers, most possibly, police must have busted a single vendor shop on a marketplace or a single seller site.

When law enforcement authorities raided the home of the suspect, they found approximately 300 grams of amphetamine. According to the prosecution, this amount falls into the category of “non-small quantity”, which is punishable by criminal law. The amount police seized of the narcotics in the man’s home exceeds the legal limit by three times, prosecutor Kurt Sippel made it clear in a statement.

During the court trial, the accused reasoned for his crimes with a long-term addiction problem. According to his statement, the 34-year-old was addicted to narcotics for almost 20 years, developing dependence and “paranoid tendencies” over time. The house search “opened his eyes” and the defendant realized that he has to give up drugs and go to therapy.

“I wanted to change something and close down the curtain,” the accused said.

Since September 2016, the suspect took part of an intensive therapy program. When the court asked the clinic where the man was being treated, the institute stated that the defendant showed “good treatment progress”. Since the inpatient therapy shows success, it will run until mid-March. After that, the 34-year-old seeks to take part in an ambulatory aftercare.

“He pulled the emergency brake, he did not have to enter,” Sippel said. The addict took a therapy months before the main hearing and also persists continuing so – “that does not happen so often,” the prosecutor said.

The magistrate’s court followed the motion of the prosecutor. The court sentenced the 34-year-old to two years of probation, 150 hours of community work for the possession of narcotics in “non-small quantities”. Additionally, as a guideline, the court obliged the defendant to stop the inpatient therapy and to comply with outpatient aftercare. The judgment is final in the case.

Since the suspect realized the issues he had with narcotics and wanted to give up his addictions, the court gave him a lesser sentence. As the prosecutor said, this is a quite unique case since not all defendants take part actively in drug therapy programs. As the court saw the positive results of the treatment, they sentenced the man to probation and obligatory community work.