Saturday, April 1, 2017

Suspected Drug Dealer In Small German Town Arrested For Attempted Weapon Purchase

German law enforcement authorities detained a young man for ordering a weapon from the dark web, and for narcotics trafficking.

On Thursday, September 15, 2016, armed undercover officers arrested a 24-year-old man at a large supermarket parking lot on Pöttmesser Strasse. Schrobenhausen is a small town in Germany with a population of 14,600 people. When special forces in heavy protective clothing and masks, with heavy weapons, arrested the suspect in his car at the parking lot, the whole town was amazed. Such police actions are performed in large cities, or on TV, but not in Schrobenhausen. The scene, where armed officials overwhelmed the 24-year-old in the parking lot, will be never forgotten by the citizens of the small town.

Since his arrest, the 24-year-old has been in police custody, currently awaiting his trial. German authorities had made the case a secret to the public for unknown reasons. However, since the trial date of the defendant had been fixed, police released some information in the case. The prosecutor’s office reported that the case is expected to be negotiated in April at the regional court of Ingolstadt.

According to police information, the suspect tried to buy a firearm, possibly a short semi-automatic weapon, from a vendor on a dark net website, forum, or marketplace. When law enforcement authorities raided the 24-year-old man’s home, they found a “regular drug plantation, which could be possibly a marijuana plantation. According to a local media outlet in Schrobenhausen, investigators seized around 30 tall plants.

Before the fixed court trial date, police only answered to a few questions in the case. Local media outlets constantly asked law enforcement authorities why they needed special forces for the arrest of the 24-year-old, but they had no luck. The media also asked what happened to the seller who allegedly sold the weapon or weapons to the suspect, however, police only answered to the question now. According to the information investigators disclosed with the media, the whole operation was a honeypot. Law enforcement authorities set up a trap for the 24-year-old, with one of them disguised as the seller of the weapon, and detained the suspect at the supermarket parking lot. It is unknown whether the firearm seller was an undercover detective or not. A possible case scenario could be that an undercover agent (either from Germany or from another country) sold the firearm to the defendant, immediately alerted local law enforcement authorities who detained the 24-year-old on the scene.

The 24-year-old will stand trial for two charges in Ingolstadt: for attempted purchase of arms and for the cultivation of drugs on a larger scale.

According to the press release of the public prosecutor’s office in Ravensburg and the Ulm police on March 10, law enforcement authorities busted a dark web narcotics ring with at least five members. Extensive investigations had been going on in the case since the end of last year. Police arrested three suspects at the end of February.

According to official court documents, the group rented an office in Ehingen for their criminal actions. The defendants allegedly ordered the narcotics from abroad, which they resold to their customers on the dark net. Investigators discovered the groups’ illicit activities when customs intercepted one of the suspects’ package containing a kilogram of amphetamine. Officials seized another parcel of the same, 38-year-old suspect, which was full of counterfeit bills.

At the end of February, law enforcement authorities raided the criminals’ office in Ehingen, where they arrested a 31-year-old, a 41-year-old, and a 38-year-old suspect. According to the investigation, the 31-year-old sent out the online orders of the vendor shop. The previous investigations suggested that the group processed about several hundred orders. Investigators identified approximately 700 transactions. In the office in Ehingen, and in apartments in the district of Biberach, law enforcement authorities found more than five kilograms of marijuana, two kilograms of amphetamine, more than a hundred grams of cocaine, several hundred ecstasy tablets, and counterfeit money. They also secured stolen and fake IDs. Additionally, detectives seized tens of thousands of euros in cash.

The three men were presented to the presiding judge at the District Court. At the request of the public prosecutor in Ravensburg, the judge issued arrest warrants for the alleged criminals. Police suspect two women aged 24 and 31 for supporting the other members in their crimes.