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CRIME

Teen jailed for €4 million online drug business

A German court jailed a young man on Monday who ran a multi-million-euro on-line drugs business and sold almost a tonne of illegal narcotics from his bedroom in his mother's flat.

Teen jailed for €4 million online drug business
Photo: DPA

Dubbed by newspapers the “bedroom dealer” and identified only as Maximilian S., the now 20-year-old was sentenced to seven years in juvenile detention for what police described as a highly sophisticated Internet-based operation.

The defendant had since late 2013 engaged in “highly criminal activity” and “flogged almost a tonne of narcotics”, said Norbert Goebel, presiding judge at the Saxony state high court in Leipzig.

Among the drugs the young man had offered on the encrypted so-called dark net and then the open Internet and sold via mail delivery were hashish, ecstasy tablets, cocaine, LSD and prescription pills.

Police said S. had sold 914 kilos of drugs worth some €4 million, and that they found around 300 kilos when they arrested him in February this year.

Prosecutors had demanded eight years and eight months behind bars in juvenile detention, while the defence called for six and a half years.

The judge said the suspect's full confession had counted in his favour, although he had shown no true regret to the court, having often smiled broadly during his trial.

A psychiatric evaluation said the chubby-faced youngster lacked emotional maturity and showed “disturbed social behaviour”.

His 48-year-old mother earlier told the trial that the one-time “wild child” had become a loner, had no girlfriend, never went on holidays and had barred her from his bedroom for two years.

To hide his tracks, S. had rented computer servers in the Netherlands, used IP addresses throughout Germany, encrypted his email, sent his drugs by registered mail, took payment in the virtual currency Bitcoin and stashed his cash in bank accounts opened under false names using fake ID.

Bild newspaper said police caught him after a mail parcel with drugs was left in the hallway outside a recipient's apartment and opened by neighbours, who contacted police, sparking a major investigation.

Police said they had still not identified his supplier, Bild reported from the trial.

“In the end this was about only one thing,” said prosecutor Andre Kuhnert. “He wanted to be the greatest and best in the online drugs trade.”

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CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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