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Monday, March 13, 2017

Bavarian Narcotics Ring Busted

The Bavarian State Criminal Police Office (LKA) and the Landshut Prosecutor’s Office conducted extensive investigations on a German criminal group, suspected of the production, distribution, and sale of new psychoactive substances (NpS).

The nationwide investigation started in July 2016. In October, law enforcement authorities arrested a 30-year-old suspect in the district of Landshut. He was accused of the production and distribution of narcotics. The defendant is still in detention as of October.

Further investigations revealed the other seven members of the group who produced and distributed NpS via an internet platform. Currently, the police are taking urgent steps against the suspects. It is not clear whether the group sold narcotics on a darknet marketplace, or on a clearnet (the normal part of the internet) website.

Law enforcement authorities believe that a 51-year-old from Oberbergischer Kreis is the main suspect in the case. The alleged gang leader is suspected of operating the sales platform where the drugs were advertised to customers. A 27-year-old from Oberbergischer Kreis and a 31-year-old from Märkischen Kreis helped the main suspect, according to police.

Additionally, the investigation showed that a 32-year-old from Oberbergischer Kreis bought the materials for the narcotics production. A 34-year-old, from the same location, was responsible for the collection of the funds, while another 34-year-old suspect allegedly produced the drugs. The last suspect, a 50-year-old from Cologne, was responsible for the administration of the internet platform.

The Landshut Prosecutor’s Office obtained a total of nine judicial orders and two arrest warrants, which were carried out by Bavarian investigators with the help of officials, and special forces from North Rhine-Westphalia on February 21. The police action started at 6 am.

Since law enforcement authorities acquired the necessary search warrants, they arrested the 51-year-old gang leader and the 34-year-old drug producer and brought them ahead of the investigating judge in Oberbergischer Kreis.

During the house searches of the two arrested suspects, law enforcement authorities found incriminating evidence. In the 51-year-old’s home, investigators found a shotgun and ammunition. When officials were trying to detain the 34-year-old, who is believed to be the manufacturer of the NpS, he resisted and was injured in the head. In his house, detectives seized a shotgun and found a marijuana plantation along with a laboratory, which, according to police, was capable of producing amphetamines.

Additionally, law enforcement authorities searched the homes of two other suspects, however, they did not disclose information on the findings yet.

The New Psychoactive Substances Act (NpSG) entered into force on November 26, 2016. The law provides a far-reaching ban on the production, purchase, possession, and trade of new psychoactive substances. The commercial production of such narcotics could be punished with a prison sentence of ten years.

According to police information, NpS are usually offered on the internet, including the dark web. The substances often contain drugs, stimulants, or similar chemical agents, which are not indicated on the packaging.

Law enforcement authorities continue the extensive investigation of the criminal group.
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