According to the Prosecutor’s Office in Ansbach, a Bavarian city 25 miles from Nuremberg, German authorities had arrested three darknet drug dealers and three of their customers. After months of investigation, the investigators had uncovered an international drug trafficking network, Michael Schrotberger of the Prosecutor’s Office said. The drug traffickers had distributed more than one million dollars worth of numerous substances throughout Germany and abroad.
In May, the authorities—likely Customs —intercepted a package of a significant quantity of ecstasy pills (an early press release said 3,000) and a large amount of amphetamine. Over time, authorities in Ansbach had intercepted thousands of ecstasy pills and kilograms of amphetamine. Investigating the source of these packages led investigators to the eighth largest city in Germany: Dortmund. After an unknown period of investigation in Dortmund, authorities had identified three darknet drug buyers and two distributors.
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Police arrested the buyers without issue and then located two drug distributors. The authorities in Dortmund waited until both men, a 20-year-old and a 34-year-old, had prepared packages of drugs for shipment. We previously covered the arrest of the first two suspects and the raid of their “shipping and production center.” Police sat on the apartment for “a couple of weeks” before making a move.
The police raided the “shipping and production center” and seized 200 prepared packages. The packages contained amphetamine and ecstasy and bore the recipients name and address. Days after that announcement, Hermann Lennert, Chief Investigator in the Ansbach district, issued a warning to the men’s customers. Drug buyers anywhere in the federal territory “could soon be visited by the police,” he said.
Two days later, the third and priority target surfaced. Police arrested a 32-year-old in the Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen district, far from the “shipping and production center.” The third suspect had created a second identity for himself. When police arrested him, they found a fake Austrian passport. As the apparent kingpin of the operation, the man had far more to lose.
Not only did he employ the two other suspects to ship his drugs, but the 32-year-old also used drugs, produced drugs, “hoarded” drugs, packaged drugs, and shipped the final product. Lennert said that he had “also operated his own Internet business.”
We also learned that the drug count after the arrest of the first two suspects was low; in total, the authorities seized 39 kilograms of amphetamine, 30,000 ecstasy tablets, 6.5 kilos of the ecstasy drug MDMA and 1.3 kilos of cocaine.
Lennert said that he was surprised by the quantity of drugs seized in this “new dimension” of drug trading.