The alleged mafia godfather with the nickname “Dexter”, who is said to have organized the sale of several hundred kilograms of heroin and cocaine in Vienna within two years, was not legally sentenced to life imprisonment at the regional court on Friday evening. The 333 individual questions had previously been read out to the jury for hours, a procedure that was repeated when the verdict was announced.

Only slight mitigating factors

The 35-year-old, who did not confess, was found fully guilty by the jury. The only mitigating factor was the fact that some of it remained an attempt. Otherwise, the court only found aggravating factors for the Serb. In his plea, defense attorney Werner Tomanek unsuccessfully questioned what the state should be allowed to do when it comes to telephone and messenger surveillance. The criminals had used so-called crypto-cell phones to carry out their business, which did not even allow location tracking. You couldn’t make calls with it, but you could send pictures, videos and audio messages.

The gang was exposed when foreign law enforcement agencies managed to crack the criminals’ supposedly secure communications and secure the content running on servers in Canada and France. The chats were subsequently decrypted with the help of the FBI, which led to investigations against criminals in numerous European countries. The chats that concerned “Dexter” and his group of around 200 people were made available to the Austrian law enforcement authorities via Europol.

Imprisoned in Serbia for murder

Dario D. alias “Dexter” sent selfies and audio messages every day, the Federal Criminal Police Office officer reported to the jury during the course of the trial. The 35-year-old was “at the top,” among whom there were “subordinates” who were well connected in Austria and had limited decision-making authority and maintained their own network of dealers, although this working level did not even know the actual boss.

The dismantled criminal organization was a branch of a Montenegrin mafia clan that carried out illegal business across Europe from the port city of Kotor – not only with drugs, but also with weapons. Dario D. was imprisoned for murder in Serbia from 2008 to 2018. After his dismissal, he is said to have taken on a management role in Vienna. In the present proceedings, the prosecution accuses him of importing and selling drugs in 333 individual cases. Dario D. was sentenced to eleven years in prison last December at the Vienna Regional Court for aggravated robbery – the guilty verdict was confirmed by the Supreme Court (OGH), the only question left is whether the sentence imposed by the first instance will remain the same.

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