A 26-year-old man from the Bavarian town of Wolfratshausen was recently sentenced to probation for attempting to purchase a gun on the dark web. His arrest, like many similar darknet firearm arrests, was the result of an undercover investigation by the Federal Criminal Police Office in Germany.
According to information revealed in the courtroom, the Australian Federal Police had been helping the German Federal Criminal Police Office identify potential dark web gun buyers when they stumbled upon posts from the 26-year-old that mentioned Glocks. He had apparently been looking for a reputable Glock vendor—something increasingly difficult in the wake of Germany being in the light of Deep Web debacles and murder cases.
The Australian Federal Police sent the German Federal Criminal Police Office information about the anonymous figure inquiring about dark web gun vendors. The German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) had a protocol for handling these cases that often involved the use of a former gun vendor’s account. After the Munich massacre, the BKA arrested a record number of darkweb gun vendors and subsequently took control of many vendor accounts. They used those accounts to catch both suppliers and dark web gun buyers.
Undercover BKA investigators established contact with the 26-year-old using an account created by a former dark web gun vendor. The undercover federal investigators messaged the 26-year-old man for weeks, the prosecutor told the court. The prosecutor also revealed the tactic the investigators had employed to identify the potential gun buyer before he had even purchased a gun.
The prosecutor explained that the investigators had established a form of trust with the 26-year-old during the investigation. After expressing his interest in buying a pistol and discussing the purchase for weeks, the Wolfratshausen man seemingly failed to describe the model of gun he wanted. The undercover federal investigators convinced the man to upload a picture of the gun to a service that logged I.P. addresses.
“I just wanted to own the weapon,” the man told the courtroom in defense of his desperation. Eventually the man paid the undercover BKA investigators 2,200 euros in exchange for a Glock 43. The gun never arrived. Instead, German police raided his apartment, discovered marijuana, and arrested him.
He admitted ordering the Glock and purchasing the marijuana. The man’s lawyer explained that the defendant’s passion and drug habit had encouraged the poor decision but that his client had attempted to turn his life around since the arrest. Judge Helmut Berger sentenced the man to 10 months in prison.