In 2016, German authorities arrested five men for distributing drugs in the darknet and clearnet under the name “Chemical Love.” A German court announced that one of these men, a former professional football player for VfB Stuttgart, will be sentenced on November 30. The prosecution is asking for four and a half years of incarceration. Walter Kelsch, the 61-year-old defendant, is pushing for acquittal.
The prosecution accused Kelsch of helping the Chemical Love co-conspirators traffic amphetamines into Germany between 2014 and 2015. When German authorities raided Chemical Love’s so-called “narcotics depot” searched associated properties, they found more than 45 kilograms of amphetamine. But not only amphetamine: they also found more than 4,000 LSD tabs; 4.7 kilograms of MDMA; 1.4 kilograms of cocaine; 230 grams of cocaine; 5.1 kilograms of ecstasy pills.
German authorities found a list of 2,000 customers. And then they used it in widespread raids across Germany. The conspirators sold to so many customers that the authorities called Chemical Love “Germany’s biggest illegal web shop for narcotics.” In Koblenz, the Public Prosecutor’s Office announced that they had launched more than 1,000 investigations concerning the customers of Chemical Love.
Three of the five initial conspirators have already been sentenced. Kelsch’s son “Kelsch Junior” aka “z100” ran the operation and received a 15-year prison sentence. The son described himself on Chemical Love as an “elegant strategist and consistent businessman with a specialty: cocaine and beautiful watches.” Some news outlets reported z100’s arrogant behavior in court. He allegedly refused to release the Bitcoin in his electrum wallet. The leader was also ordered to surrender “millions of euros to the state fund – the presumed proceeds of the drugs in the Internet currency Bitcoins plus the intermediate value increase.” He also surrendered his Maserati to the court.
Two brothers also received prison sentences for their roles. Denis T. (31) and Rene L. (32) each received prison sentences of seven years and three months. Both men played less significant roles in the organization than Kelsch Junior. The court convicted the brothers of drug running for Chemical Love. The two, according to the court “essentially admitted the accusations against them.” They admitted making regular trips to and from the Netherlands, but denied having any knowledge of the criminal purposes of these journeys.
The Stuttgart Public Prosecutor’s Office accused Kelsch (senior) of defrauding his associates in an unrelated business venture. One former partner lost $100,000 and another lost approximately $200,000. His role in Chemical Love was relatively insignificant. He only helped his son traffic amphetamine on three occasions. The prosecution is pushing for four and a half years. Kelsch hopes to be acquitted.