Authorities in Rastatt, Germany arrested three people for allegedly distributing large quantities of drugs through a darkweb marketplace.
The three suspects were arrested as a result of an eight-month investigation into a darkweb vendor by the Offenburg police and the Baden-Baden public prosecutor’s office. During the case, investigators seized large quantities of cannabis, opium, and other drugs valued at 150,000 euros.
Police were investigating the administrator of an undisclosed darkweb marketplace (DarkMarket) when a certain vendor account caught their attention. Investigators knew the vendor operated out of Rastatt. Police in Offenburg built a case against the alleged operators of the vendor account. As a part of the investigation, police profiled packages and compiled shipping information. The work eventually resulted in several successful package interceptions by German law enforcement. Information from the intercepted packages identified at least one of the three suspects in police custody.
On March 11, 2021, investigators raided a residence in Rastatt. The search resulted in the seizure of more than 30 kilograms of cannabis, 1.7 kilograms of opium, 124 grams of cocaine, and MDMA. The investigators also found and seized large quantities of packaging and mailing materials, vacuum sealers, electronic devices, weighing scales, and a written record of orders processed by the vendor.
Police destroyed a cannabis growing operation found at the house and seized several live plants. Two people fled the house when the police entered but both found themselves in police custody shortly after the attempted escape. The suspects who fled the house, a 26-year-old and a 29-year-old, allegedly masterminded the drug trafficking operation. They both had prior convictions and were placed in pre-trial detention.
The third suspect, a 56-year-old man, allegedly acted as his accomplices' assistant. He helped them in processing the drug orders and allowed them to use his apartment as the center of the drug trafficking operation. He was charged with aiding and abetting.
The 56-year-old suspect reportedly cooperated with the investigators and confessed to his role in the operation. He also had a clean criminal record and was released pending trial.