In early March, the Federal Criminal Police Office in Wiesbaden and Coburg Public Prosecutor’s Office announced the arrest of a 43-year-old in Coburg. The suspect, according to the investigators—and the suspect’s testimony—ordered weapon(s) on the darknet. He ordered one prior to his arrest but authorities intercepted it. However, upon a search of his house, investigators located additional weapons.
The Cybercrime Department of the Coburg Police Office responded to a tip from the the Federal Criminal Police Office in Wiesbaden about the suspect. Often times, information of this sort comes from the Central Office for Combating Internet Crime (ZIT) via the Federal Criminal Police. The announcements never mentioned the ZIT. However, the investigation is ongoing and majorly classified, the press release noted.
This is far from the first of such occurrences. DeepDotWeb covered several: “German Police Raided Three Suspects for Showing Interest in Darknet Firearm Sales,” “LKA Helped State Police Catch a Bavarian Man for Attempted DNM Firearm Deal,” and “24-Year-Old Suspect Admits Attempting to Purchase Several Firearms from the Darknet.” The majority of German firearm busts include “attempted” or simply “ordered.” Police rarely let darknet weapon transactions move beyond the “place order” button.
BKA investigators told the Cybercrime Department in Coburg that the suspect fell into investigation for violating the Weapons Act. Or suspected Weapons Act violation placed him or another Coburg resident under investigation. The police in Coburg—those from the Cybercrime Department or otherwise—still worked on the case beyond the arrest. The Cybercrime Department’s director, Tino Wetzig, said that weapon trafficking rarely occurred, in general. “In Coburg, this is the first darknet firearm arms taking case,” he said.
The Director said Coburg started the investigation at the beginning of the month. He explained that the work related to the suspect’s arrest, in a small window of time, “was such a success.”
Little time passed between the note from the Federal Police and the suspect’s arrest. After police conducted a follow-up investigation of undisclosed nature, they waited until the suspect placed an order. And he ordered a firearm along with a silencer and ammunition. He paid $1,075—in Bitcoin—for the weapon and the accessories mentioned above. Authorities neglected names and specifics in the press release, likely because the suspect never received anything.
The Coburg Police Office conducted an early morning raid on the day of supposed delivery. “Instead of a package, a special missions team appeared,” one news outlet wrote. They arrived, grabbed the suspect, and took him to the police department. The Coburg Public Prosecutor then requested a search of the suspect’s residence. A team returned to the location and discovered gas and air pressure guns, illegal bats and weapons, and thousands of Euros.
Within a similar timeframe, investigators questioned the 43-year-old suspect regarding the darknet order and past orders. He admitted that he routinely ordered it attempted to order Glock, Ruger, and Beretta weapons from the darknet. Along with admitting he ordered in the past, he admitted to the charges he faced. The case is still under investigation but the suspect faces at least one Weapons Act violation charge.