“Shiny_Flakes: The Teenage Drug Lord” is Netflix’s newest offering in the true crime genre. A lengthy investigation into an online shop selling illegal drugs, which was mainly sold in Germany, led to the arrest of Maximilian Schmidt in February 2015.
But in reality it was a teenager operating from his bedroom. In its heyday, Maximilian’s Shiny Flakes website processed around 15,000 orders a day. This rather peculiar story also served as inspiration for the hugely successful and quick-witted Netflix original series “How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast)”. So, let’s find out what happened to Maximilian since his arrest, okay?
Who is Maximilian Schmidt?
Maximilian lived with his mother and her partner in Leipzig, Germany. As a teenager, he found himself a bit awkward and spent most of his time at his computer. It all started with a conversation he had with someone online on Silk Road, an underground website that sold illegal drugs on the internet. This piqued Maximilian’s interest and he quickly considered how he could improve the existing system by giving customers a better overall experience.
Maximilian’s shop went live in December 2013. After finding a drug supplier online, he set up a website offering drugs from marijuana to cocaine and ecstasy to prescription drugs. In fact, Maximilian even had a rating and rating system where customers could post their experiences and sent the packages free gummy bears as part of what he called a positive customer experience. From the beginning to the middle of 2014, his business received more and more orders, including from other parts of the world. The payment method was via Bitcoin. Maximilian picked up the shipment from his supplier, packed the orders according to specifications and then sent them by post.
Finally, the authorities got wind of packages of drugs that were being sent across Germany and discovered that the sender addresses were nonexistent. Towards the end of 2014, Maximilian’s business suffered somewhat from logistical problems such as server problems and lost packages, which over time led to an order backlog. On the other hand, the police were able to locate the source on the Shiny Flakes website and focused their efforts on it.
While Maximilian was doing his best to cover his tracks and keep his involvement a secret, he got on the radar of the authorities after the arrest of his supplier. They tracked large parcels that were being shipped to Leipzig and eventually put Maximilian under surveillance. In February 2015, the authorities ransacked his home and arrested him. He was only 20 years old at the time and ran a successful drug empire all by himself from his bedroom. The police seized drugs worth over 100 kilograms worth over 4 million euros. They also found an Excel spreadsheet with the names of all of his customers.
Where is Maximilian Schmidt now?
After his arrest, Maximilian confessed everything to the police and was sentenced under juvenile justice. He was sentenced to 7 years in prison and paid 3 million euros to the state from the proceeds from drug sales. The authorities were able to access some of his Bitcoin wallets worth around 350,000 euros. Maximilian was released from prison in mid-2019 after serving 4 years and 7 months behind bars. He was on parole.
Maximilian stated on the program that he had no money left from his drug operation. He added that he never felt guilty because if people hadn’t got the drugs from him, they would have got them elsewhere. Maximilian has found a job in a parking lot since being fired and seemed to have turned things around. He even had a girlfriend. But according to the show, Maximilian was again examined from March 2021 on suspicion of running a similar drugstore online, but under a different name.
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