Police Bust a “Darknet” Drug Ring With 500g of Amphetamine in Underground Storage

A group of four drug traffickers were arrested after a multi-month investigation by a German narcotics taskforce. The group operated at a street level, but resold drugs from the darknet in “considerable” quantities. Most notable, perhaps, was that police seized a half-kilogram of amphetamine during the raids.

The investigation, according to the police report, took several months because of how complex the group’s system was. Norderstedt investigators were required to track members of the group at all times to reveal structures and delivery routes.

Amphetamines were most regularly purchased from the darknet and subsequently sold to customers. This should be of no surprise; the recent majority of darknet-related arrests in Germany were centered around amphetamine.

Ecstasy and cannabis were also sold but to a much lesser degree. Investigators described that after the drugs arrived via the postal system, the suspects would bury the reserves. When a group member was ready to make a sale, he/she would uncover the substance cache and retrieve the requested substance.

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Drugs were mainly sold to customers in Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg, officers said. Many face-to-face transactions occurred but arrests were not made; police wanted the group as a whole, not a single member and customer.

In early November, group members were arrested in Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg and Lower Saxony.

The police report explained the arrest of a 34-year-old from Henstedt-Ulzburg. This 34-year-old was the so-called “head of the group” and was the first to be arrested. His apartment was raided and authorities discovered the leader’s personal use stash. Police found 41 ecstasy pills, cannabis, and amphetamine inside the residence. These, along with other unnamed drugs, were for personal consumption. Investigators uncovered the “earth depot” cache outside his apartment and found a reserve of 180 grams of amphetamine. He was arrested and extensively interrogated the following day. At the request of the Kiel public prosecutor’s office, he will remain in custody at the investigative detention center of Neumünster Prison until further notice.

Another 34-year-old was arrested at the same time in Hamburg’s St. Pauli district. He was preparing to sell 100 grams of amphetamine to two customers. This 34-year-old member of the group had two “earth depots” that police were aware of. Additional amphetamine was found in both outside storage areas. He was arrested, questioned, and promptly released “for lack of liability,” according to the report.

Simultaneously in Hamburg, a 31-year-old from Alveslohe was arrested while he was emptying his outdoor drug supply. He removed 150 grams of cocaine, almost 90 grams of amphetamine, 15 ecstasy pills, and 24 grams of cannabis as police moved on him. He was taken into custody and released the following day.

Later on that day, a 38-year-old from Harsefeld (Lower Saxony) was arrested. She was arrested in Neu Wulmstorf where she often did deliveries. Investigators wrote that she was a suspected courier driver for the group. In her possession were only small quantities of drugs and she was released almost immediately after booking.

The report closed: “All those involved have to face accusations and, where appropriate, several years’ imprisonment. Illicit acts of narcotics are punishable by a prison sentence of not less than a year of imprisonment.”

We do not have many recent examples of German sentencing when it comes to distribution at this level. However, we wrote about a husband and wife who were busted for ordering five packages of amphetamine from the DNMs. Distribution, especially at this scale, did not appear to be in the picture so sentencing for the group of traffickers could certainly be harsher.

According to one of our writers, Benjamin Vitáris, “The husband was sentenced to 15 months and the wife to 11 months, both on probation.”

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