Several weeks ago, we covered a massive drug bust in Sweden. Four individuals shipped drugs worth nearly $1,000,000 across the globe in what Swedish police call “the largest drug case ever.” On November 9, the court began hearing the case against each member of the group—the Court expected to listen to the charges until December 9. And, on December 9, the Skaraborg District Court heard the last of the charges read aloud by prosecutor Sofia Karlsson—who recommended a 14-year sentence for the leader of the group.
As early as April 2016, Karlsson led the Mariestad-based investigation. She worked with Europol and local detectives. Chief Inspector Lars Johansson, the officer in charge who soberly announced how large the case was, was not only referring to the news presence and number of drugs sold by the group. He meant that everything involving the case was much larger than he initially announced. Including the 6,000 pages of court documents.
The group distributed 15 types of drugs, according to the prosecutor. Most customers only bought LSD from the group, but ecstasy was another favorite product, especially when shipping to the United States. The group operated out of an apartment in Mariestad, Sweden. Moreover, the apartment was a cache of evidence for police officers. They found a vast spread of drugs, but the number of ecstasy pills—100,000 in total—surprised even Johansson.
Per the last press release from Johansson, officials had not discovered the main supplier of the drugs. He clarified; the police were still unaware of the entity that supplied the Mariestad-based vendors. Authorities knew, without any doubt, that the group provided drugs all over Sweden. They were initially unaware that the group sold drugs on the darknet but after the apartment raid, the size and reach of the organization became apparent. The raid yielded a significant number of narcotics but also a computer and several cell phones, and both provided relevant case evidence.
Out of the 6,000 transactions investigators found, investigators collected the names and addresses of at least 20 buyers. Karlsson said that many were arrested and have already appeared in court.
She spoke with an interviewer about the identified suspects in Sweden:
P4 Skarborg Interviewer: “What happened to all the people that police have identified?”
Prosecutor Karlsson: “I cannot provide you with a very definite answer on the details regarding the identified. However, so you will have a reply, I will tell you that we discovered about twenty buyers [in Sweden], but the investigation is so large. We passed the information to the National Operations Department (Nationella operativa avdelningen) because it involved the whole country.”
The recording cuts out here.
The two group members from Gothenburg and Eskilstuna played a lesser role in the crimes committed by the group and Karlsson never mentioned them in the latest announcement. Only the leader and his live-in partner—the owners of the apartment—made their way into the press release. While the man and suspected leader of the operation faces 14 years in prison, the woman’s lawyer fought to have police release her from custody. The lawyer’s movement succeeded; police released her from custody. She, along with her defense, are now fighting to get all charges against her dropped.
In the spotlight, however, was the 30-year-old. The prosecution initially spoke of a ten-year penalty for the leader. Circumstances changed. Karlsson pushed for a 14-year prison sentence for the man.
The radio station also revealed that the woman triggered the investigation, contrary to previous reports. The recording translates as follows:
“It began to unravel after the woman secretly, in the spring texted her boss at work and explained what was going on. She wrote that her partner ‘operates a vast drug trafficking ring.’ She also wrote that her partner was under the influence of a drug and that she was afraid. The manager, in turn, then called the police. Therefore, the police traveled to the couple’s apartment. It ended when police found tens of thousands of narcotic pills in the home, including ecstasy.”