In Mettmann—East of Düsseldorf in the North Rhine-Westphalia state, a 45-year-old IT specialist fell under law enforcement’s scope of suspects for online firearms purchases. The Customs Office of Essen opened the investigation into the suspect but made no mention of how the 45-year-old became a suspect. The Customs Office started investigating the Mettmanner and inspectors from the Customs Office are still—as of this article— inspecting the case; in cases similar to this, the relevant customs office or postal courier often intercepts the package, sometimes by random selection.
Two detectives from the Customs Investigations Office conducted an investigation into the man’s darknet activities. Law enforcement made no mention of whether the investigation occurred before or after the possible package seizure. As seen in numerous cases of the same sort, often in the same area, someone falls under police investigation after a vendor mistake. By “vendor mistake,” the vendor probably fell into a police trap and left pre-addressed packages that police ultimately found. Alternatively, we have seen cases where the seller turned after the arrest and gave investigators the names and addresses of his buyers.
Some cases began after a random package search or selection occurred. Vendors often fail to package items in a stealthy fashion. Furthermore, postal carriers and customs stations worldwide started implementing advanced scanning techniques. The Mettmanner, police reported, purchased 500 rounds of ammunition from the darknet—along with 16 throwing stars. The Customs Office seized these weapons; investigators later revealed the other weapons purchased through the darknet.
Police later mentioned finding two 9mm Glocks in the man’s house—assuming he ordered 500 semi-standard grain 9mm rounds, the ammunition weighed roughly eight-and-a-half pounds. If he ordered the ammunition the standard grain round for the .22, the full 500 rounds of ammunition weighed in at roughly two-and-a-half-pounds. Modern scanners have no difficulty in scanning either of the above ammunition sets, especially the former option.
Upon obtaining ample evidence to convict the 45-year-old, police officers raided his home. They found two 9mm Glocks (one was a Glock 19 and the other was indiscernible), a .22 caliber pistol of an unmentioned model and make, and a non-functioning AK-47. “Exactly what he wanted to do with the weapons was unclear,” a spokesperson said. He had none of the required certification to own firearms, officers explained.
They also found a target for throwing stars and with it 16 more throwing stars. The suspect also kept swords and daggers for self-defense, he told the officers. For the non-firing weapons, no license is needed, the report explained.
The police report noted the man’s complex mechanism for hiding the guns. He built a sliding metal safe directly into the wall of his home. According to the investigators, the safe sat right above the man’s desk, behind a shelf—only visible once the shelf moved out of the way.
Detectives are still investigating the case to find out the finer details of the case. So far, they announced the man spent $2170—in bitcoin— for the ammunition and stars that customs seized. They made no mention of the previously-owned weapons. And, since the suspect lived in the country and maintained a stable relationship with his wife, the police did not issue an arrest warrant.