A brand new Netflix series is inspired by the true story of a German teenager who ran a multi-million dollar dark web based drug empire from the comfort of his bedroom.
The makers of the series, titled “How to Sell Drugs Online Fast”, managed to meet up with Maxmillan, who was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment for “running the Amazon marketplace of illicit drugs,” on one of his days out of the penitentiary.
The series is inspired by the story of Maxmillan, a 19 year old boy who used the alias “Shiny Flakes” to sell drugs online on darknet marketplaces and also via his very own vendor shop. Even though his mother thought of her son as a lazy and grumpy boy who is too clumsy to leave his room, he managed to earn a total amount of bitcoin worth of 4.4 million euros ($4.9 million) in around a year from selling almost all forms of illicit drugs from marijuana to MDMA.
Even though he was imprisoned in 2015, the police did not yet manage to access all of his bitcoin wallets.
The series premiered last Sunday in the French Rivera resort during the Canneseries festival, where makers of the series, Matthias Murmann and Philipp Kassbohrer, commented on the storyline saying,
When you think of an illicit drug business, it is useful to think of the Cali cartel and Pablo Escobar. However, this German strange guy, who was running the business all by himself, had a prominent effect on the illicit drug market across Europe,” added Murmann, “He was inarguably the best drug dealer all over Europe, and he did not sell his drugs only via the dark web, as he did that too on the surface web (Clearnet).
Shiny Flakes’ Clearnet store was accessible via an ordinary browser. The store implemented customer reviews and an Amazon-like marketing system – “if you liked this product, you might also want to try these….”
The 19 year old man, whom the founders of the series later referred to as “Max”, and who was treated by the court as a juvenile convict, showed up one day at the makers’ studio when the series was still being filmed, once he knew that his story was being used to create a TV series. “Initially, we thought that it was just an unrelated guy, making things up; however, it was really him,” stated Murmann, who is a self-confessed weirdo himself.
During his day out of prison, he was allowed to travel around, but he had to spend the night in jail. It was extremely exciting to be able to get a grip of his mindset, and to realize how proud he was of his seller’s reputation and customers’ reviews,” said Murmann, “He even demonstrated to the director how he used to arrange MDMA in boxes. This was dazzling for all the series’ filming crew.
At this point, filming of the series had already started, which the founders had transformed into a story about a high school student who launches an e-commerce drug website, with the help of his wheel-chaired best friend, aiming at winning back his girlfriend, who had just come back to the US after travelling abroad for around a year.
He was definitely a genius!
“The series was inspired by Max’s story, rather than based on it, as we realized that his true story is somehow short and relatively boring,” said Kassbohrer, “He is definitely too smart. He only got arrested because he committed one big mistake. When we got to meet him, it was one strange bridge connecting us with reality.”
The two founders, whose studio produces computer games and TV shows, relied on a fast editing approach and smartphone pop-ups to film the modern hi-tech lifestyle of Generation Z youngsters. Kassbohrer commented that Max was like a considerable portion of this age group, working hard to make his mark, yet in terribly chosen means. “He was a real nice person, but you can never overlook the fact that he engaged in criminal activities that harmed others, and he also had connections to individuals who committed even more harmful criminal activities. In the end, he confessed all of his committed crimes.”
He was extremely proud of his store’s customers’ reviews, to the point that he gave an interview to one of the founders’ friends, a journalist, when he had been still selling drugs, telling her that he had a special department for marketing and customer service, while in reality it was only him running the business from his bedroom.
The series “How to Sell Drugs Online Fast” airs online on May 31st.