A 43, 46, and a 51-year-old were all arrested in Germany for attempted weapon purchase over the dark web, according to the joint press release of the Stuttgart Public Prosecutor and the Reutlingen Police Department.
The investigation started in December 2016, after the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) tipped a police officer in Esslingen. According to authorities, the 46-year-old, from Frickenhausen, had shown interest in several shotguns on dark net marketplaces. After extensive cyber and covert investigations, police managed to identify the two other suspects, who were the alleged acquaintances of the 46-year-old. On Thursday, law enforcement authorities raided all accused persons’ homes and detained them.
According to officials, police used the “special mission command” during the raid of the 46-year-old’s home. The suspect was a well-known sportsman, however, authorities did not provide enough information on the topic.
In the 43-year-old’s and the 46-year-old’s homes, law enforcement confiscated six illicit guns, including a machine gun. Regarding the apartment of all accused persons, police seized a large number of electronic devices, which are under examination by forensic specialists. Additionally, investigators found 30,000 euros in cash and precious metals, including gold, worth around 50,000 euros in the 46-year-old’s house.
At the home of the 51-year-old, officers seized numerous legal and illegal weapons. Investigators found 17 legal shotguns, several thousand rounds of ammunition, a prohibited fully automatic shotgun, a loaded pistol, several mufflers and small amounts of narcotics. The automatic shotgun is considered as a weapon of war, according to police information.
The trio partly confessed their crimes. The 46-year-old admitted that he bought four mufflers and desired to sell two of them for profits.
Law enforcement authorities detained the three suspects on Thursday. The 43-year-old and the 46-year-old were released temporarily. However, the 51-year-old remained in captivity at the request of the Stuttgart Public Prosecutor. The accused not only violated the War Weapons Control Act but was also charged with the possession of narcotics.
At the moment, the criminal investigation is still ongoing.
In December, German law enforcement authorities detained the dark net vendor “OxyWhite”. The 29-year-old accused worked at the University of Bonn as an employee and was arrested during a raid on the Bonn University Clinic, which he used as a packing station for his narcotics operation. OxyWhite is suspected of operating as a large-scale vendor of medical drugs. Police had started investigating the case a few months before the suspect’s arrest.
“We have researched in the clear and Darknet,” said Attorney Lutz Gaebel. “After all, you’ve figured out the vendor name of the man: ‘OxyWhite’.”
The 29-year-old offered “traditional” and pharmaceutical drugs for his customers. According to police information, his packing station near the Bonn University Hospital played a major role in the operation.
Law enforcement authorities, escorted by a special riot unit, raided two apartments in St. Augustin and the Bonn University Clinic.
“We have seized 2.65 kilos of amphetamine and utensils that are needed for delivery of goods by mail, found,” said the prosecutor. In addition to that, police confiscated a stun gun in the suspect’s apartment.