In 2015, the German Federal Police arrested a notorious vendor—both darknet and clearnet. The vendor, Maximilian S., operated under the name “Shiny Flakes.” After a long and surprising trial period, the Leipzig District Court sentenced the 20-year-old to seven years in prison. German police raided 38 homes following the Shiny Flakes bust and seized massive amounts of illegal substances. A forensic examination of his hard drives revealed that he also sold to a social worker who worked with children.
The raid on the 38 residents, described by the German police:
It is from these main findings [the Shiny Flakes takedown] that prompted the prosecutor’s office in Leipzig to apply for further search warrants. The courts confirmed all 38 search warrants and law enforcement executed all of them on March 11, 2015. Police searched all-over the Federal territory. Because of the warrants, police arrested and incarcerated five additional persons, seized several kilograms of narcotics, and several thousand euros of cash. (OSTA Schulz / Loe)
The case against the social worker began amidst the Shiny Flakes hearing when investigators found the address of a social worker in Würzburg. Shiny Flakes refused to reveal information about the recipient—only that he helped a good friend. He said that by selling to the social worker, his “good friend,” he made a mistake. Then he explained the reason he tried to help his good friend: marital problems.
Maximilian S. told the courtroom that he sold cocaine to the social worker to help solve the suspect’s marriage issues. He continued by explaining that the social worker and his wife failed to get along and he mistakenly suggested that cocaine might help. However, he said, he never noticed any changes in the relationship. Addiction set in, though, Shiny Flakes explained during the proceedings.
Police raided the social worker’s apartment and found a parcel from Leipzig, the location Shiny Flakes shipped from. They found a 5-gram package but only 0.6-grams remained. Upon further inspection, police found that the social worker ordered another package of cocaine, this time for 32-grams. He paid with Bitcoin but a cross reference with Shiny Flakes’s Excel files confirmed that the social worker bought that cocaine. Per the investigators, the order in Excel was marked orange, indicating that it had not shipped.
Investigators said that Flakes marked the packages green when they shipped. Orange rows in the excel file showed pending orders. According to a KIP official from Leipzig, the order “had not yet been packed and not yet dispatched case because the 20-year-old was arrested.”
Both the defendant and his wife participated in “paired therapy,” and “were doing very well,” he said in court. The social worker voluntarily gave urine and hair samples for drug tests, at his own expense. Reports revealed that he had been clean for months prior to the hearing. The prosecutor pushed for ten months in prison—the judge, however, sentenced the defendant to only a 1,350 euro fine.