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Young Drug Buyers Arrested in Austrian Investigation

Law enforcement in the Upper Styrian district of Liezen in the Austrian federal state of Styria reportedly arrested more than 20 suspected darknet drug buyers the the town of Schladming. The news made headlines in many popular publications due primarily to an element not found in otherwise similar darknet cases: the police had arrested suspects as young as 13-years-old.

According to the announcements and press releases, Austrian police arrested “more than 20″ suspected darknet drug buyers (and their close associates). More than half of the suspects—15, specifically—fell into the “adolescent” age classification. The adolescents ranged from 13 to 19-years-old. In that group of suspects, the police arrested only two older “adolescents,” according to the report; One 18-year-old and one 19-year-old.

The arrests, police revealed, only occurred after. Earlier this year, Salzburg police arrested a local darknet vendor. The Salzburg vendor—or rather suspect—allegedly sold amphetamines, cannabis, and cocaine to a primarily Austrian customer base. Very few details of the Upper Styrian district arrests exist, making it difficult to determine the specific involvement of the uniquely young suspected drug buyers. One 14-year-old, the announcement specified, purchased marijuana from the darknet vendor in Salzburg.

However, police revealed that a 23-year-old and a 25-year-old had been making routine purchases of cocaine and marijuana from the Salzburg vendor. The duo allegedly smoked marijuana with the so-called “adolescent” drug users. The marijuana may have been the extent of the duo’s sharing, though; authorities made no mention of any shared cocaine. It was not made clear if the duo had also been selling drugs to the younger individuals or if they had only been smoking marijuana with them.

They did sell to the 18-year-old and the 19-year-old drug buyers, though. And those two sold to other teenagers. So, by proxy and in the eyes of the government, the 20-somethings sold drugs to the teenagers. And the two oldest suspected darknet drug buyers had no mentioned connection to the “adolescents” or even the two in their twenties. One, a 30-year-old, had been buying marijuana and amphetamine from the Salzburg darknet vendor. The second, a 37-year-old, had an undisclosed connection to the suspected darknet vendor.

The alleged vendor from Salzburg specialized in very few drugs. One of those drugs was marijuana. The 37-year-old rounded up alongside the other suspected drug buyers had allegedly been running his own grow op. While he may have been growing for personal use and buying from the vendor between harvests, he could have been growing marijuana for another purpose.

All the crimes, according to the police, occurred during the “first half of this year.” The investigation into the suspected buyers and alleged vendor is ongoing.

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