Chemical Revolution: Multi-year prison sentence for online drug trafficking


An online shop offered drugs of all kinds for purchase at the click of a mouse – the district court of Giessen has now sentenced seven men to several years’ imprisonment for their involvement in it. On Friday, the judges found the defendants – including a man from the district of Munich considered to be the initiator – guilty of having worked for the “Chemical Revolution” platform, which is operated on the Internet and anonymous Darknet.

When it was shut down in 2019, the investigators had spoken of the nation’s largest online drug shop, which is also said to have features of a legal platform such as volume discounts and customer comments. The group, which partly acted as a gang, assumed that it could earn millions with the business model, said the presiding judge on the grounds for the verdict.

Kilos of drugs such as amphetamine, marijuana or cocaine and ecstasy were brought to Germany from the Netherlands from autumn 2017, said the chairman. The goods were transported to various locations across Germany, including Ortenberg in Hesse. It should then have been packed and sent to the customer.

The trial, which began a year ago, covered only a small part of the prosecution’s allegations. It assumed a total of 320 acts between September 2017 and February 2019. In Giessen there were a total of nine allegations and the early days of the shop. Some cases have been dropped. The Frankfurt Public Prosecutor’s Office assumed that the defendants earned around one million euros in the form of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin with the shop. The accused are also said to have traded via the “Wall Street Market”.

The chairman said the court is aware that the findings are “the lowest common denominator that binds the seven defendants”. Accordingly, the main defendant from Bavaria had the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčopening a drug mail order business. According to the court, he took care of ordering the narcotics, marketing and administration or customer service. The other men had their own roles, were responsible for import or transport, were couriers or “errand boys”.

The men between the ages of 29 and 46 had mostly admitted the allegations. Four of them were convicted, among other things, of “gang-like illicit trading with narcotics in large quantities”. The court did not consider the remaining men to be members of the gang; some of them were convicted as helpers or for importing drugs.

The court imposed terms of between two years and eight months and nine years and two months for the main defendant. In addition, after a certain period of detention, he is said to be placed in a detention center because of his cocaine addiction. Some of the judgments, which are not yet final, were preceded by an understanding between those involved in the process.

The district court will continue to deal with the “Chemical Revolution” case, as there are a total of eleven defendants. Because of the extensive proceedings and the coronavirus pandemic, the others will not be negotiated until later.


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