A master’s student in France is heading to prison for selling MDMA to customers on darkweb markets.
Olivier Abtout, a 27-year-old living in Angers, France, was sentenced at the Angers Criminal Court to six years in prison for distributing ecstasy and MDMA through the darkweb.
Police first arrested Abtout in February 2019 as he attempted to retrieve a package of drugs he had ordered online.
A mail courier had attempted to deliver a package to Abtout’s address but failed to identify Abtout as the intended recipient of the package. Abtout refused to provide the courier with a form of ID. Once the mailman arrived at the delivery address, Abtout claimed that he was the intended recipient. As a result, the courier refused to give the package to Abtout. He put the package back in his vehicle and left. As he was driving, Abtout caught up to the vehicle, took the package, and ran. The courier ran after him, caught him, and recovered the package.
Later, the police arrested Abtout and opened the package. They found 500 grams of ecstasy pills. The police then searched Abtout’s apartment and found 15 grams of cannabis resin. For these crimes, a court sentenced Abtout to 10 months in prison on March 6, 2019.
In December 2019, nine months later, French law enforcement officers arrested Abtout once again after identifying him as the head of a drug trafficking operation. Investigators had learned that Abtout and four co-conspirators had trafficked large quantities of MDMA via darkweb markets.
On December 10, 2019, investigators with the Angers Judicial Police Service executed search warrants at Abtout’s home and a storage unit he had rented. Investigators found and seized three kilograms of ecstasy from Abtout’s house and 20 kilograms from his storage unit. Police arrested Abtout and four accomplices.
Abtout and his accomplices appeared before the Angers Criminal Court for their sentencing hearing in late July 2021. Prosecutors told the court that Abtout had been involved in international drug trafficking through the darkweb and requested a sentence of seven years in prison. The court sentenced the defendant to six years in prison and to pay a fine of €5,000.
The co-conspirators face charges related to drug trafficking or various forms of fraud. One of the co-conspirators received a suspended sentence of eight months. Others are awaiting sentencing.