In the German town of Geldern-Kapellen, police stealthily conducted an investigation into a 36-year-old suspected darknet dealer. When they had gathered enough evidence, authorities raided the 36-year-old’s house at six in the morning and caught him by surprise. Police spokesperson Daniel Freitag told the press that the police had been looking into the recently arrested suspect since June 2017.
According to local media, random addresses in Geldern-Kapellen started receiving unexpected and unwanted packages of marijuana. These residents filed police reports and the reports finally led to an investigation. The investigation also began during the month Dutch police took control of the Hansa darknet marketplace. Freitag chose not to confirm or deny any details that could compromise an ongoing investigation.
He did point out, however, that the amount of marijuana seized at the suspect’s house definitely indicated that the police had caught a major marijuana vendor. “Local dealers do not have that much in stock.” The police secured 35 kilograms of marijuana but have not yet estimated the value of the seized drugs. According to the spokesperson, the police will estimate the value once they have confirmed the quality of the product. The alleged darknet vendor also sold hashish on the darknet, the spokesperson said.
The suspect worked as an IT professional, according to a statement by the authorities. He allegedly sold drugs from his inconspicuous residential home. The investigation required months of undercover work by German authorities. (The investigation itself took nearly an entire year if it truly began in June 2017.)
“Marijuana was ordered online via the darknet and the product went to the people’s home,” the spokesperson said. He explained that drug dealers move to the darknet for the large customer base found on various darknet markets. The police plan to catch these customers too, he continued. Police in Wesel are currently investigating 150 accounts belonging to the suspected darknet market vendor customer base. “On the darknet, one usually thinks one is safe from police investigations, but that’s not the case,” Freitag said.
In addition to the kilograms of marijuana, the authorities also seized numerous electronic devices during the raid in Geldern-Kapellen. Investigators are currently examining the devices and attempting to extract additional evidence on the suspect and his clients. Other pieces of unidentified evidence were taken by police as well. Freitag suspects they will particularly aid in the investigation into the suspect’s customers.
The police also arrested the suspected vendor’s companion. They kept her for less than 24 hours before allowing her to leave without charges. The investigation into the primary suspect (and his customers) is ongoing and the police will not report further details until the case has been closed.