In April 2016, in the Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, law enforcement authorities arrested five men who were suspected of running the Chemical Love vendor shop. On October 11, 2016, The Central Cybercrime Office (LZC) of the General Public Prosecutor’s Office announced they had charged six individuals in the case. Now, the Landau District court sentenced three of the defendants, including the main suspect, to prison.
When German authorities arrested the five suspects and raided the “narcotics depot” in the Rhineland-Palatine, they found an astonishing amount of drugs. Law enforcement authorities seized approximately 45 kilograms of amphetamine imported from the Netherlands, more than 3.5 kilograms of amphetamine, 1.4 kilograms of cocaine, 230 grams of heroin, 4,158 LSD trips, 2 kilograms of hash, 250 grams of crystal meth, 4.7 kilograms of MDMA in crystalline form, and 5.1 kilograms of ecstasy pills. In addition, they are expected to receive approximately 75 kilograms of amphetamine, 3.6 kilograms of MDMA, 2,700 LSD trips, 12,800 ecstasy pills, 1.67 kilograms of cocaine, 300 grams of heroin, 2.93 kilograms of hash and 2,300 kilos of amphetamine 165 grams of crystal meth.
In addition to the drugs, investigators also found a list in the narcotics depot with approximately 2,200 orders, which were conducted at the Chemical Love vendor shop. German law enforcement authorities made a good use of the list. In September 2016, they launched a nationwide operation against 63 alleged customers of the drug dealers. According to the Attorney General’s Office in Koblenz, about 300 investigators participated in the raid, performing house searches at 68 locations. In March, this year, the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Koblenz announced they had started more than 1,000 investigations against past customers of Chemical Love.
On June 2, the Landau District Court sentenced three members of the Chemical Love vendor shop to prison. The 30-year-old main suspect, going by the pseudo name “z100”, was given a prison sentence of 14 years and 10 months. The co-defendants, aged 31 and 32 years, were sentenced to seven years and three months of imprisonment.
According to the German news publication volksfreund.de, the 30-year-old defendant is the son of the former soccer player Walter Kelsch, who played for the national team in 1984 and for the VfB Stuttgart. When law enforcement authorities raided the narcotics depot in the Rhineland-Palatinate, the 61-year-old Kelsch was among the suspects who were arrested. The former soccer player was also charged by the prosecution.
In addition to the prison sentence, the main suspect was ordered to pay 10 million euros to the German state. According to Judge Urban Ruppert, the sum includes the estimated profits the criminal made, along with the estimated value increase of the bitcoins.
“The economic perspective is not good for you,” Judge Ruppert said to the 30-year-old, who took the judgment with a bitter smile. According to the judge, whoever is sitting on the bitcoins and does not cooperate, should not be surprised at such punishment.
The court saw it as proven that the main defendant and the 31-year-old accomplice smuggled tens of kilograms of amphetamine from the Netherlands to Germany in several cases. According to the court records, for a certain period of time, the drugs were hidden at a location in Rülzheim by the 32-year-old suspect.
According to public prosecutor Alexander Fassel, the Chemical love vendor shop was one of the largest darknet stores offering narcotics in Germany. Fassel added that the criminals sold cocaine, hashish, LSD trips and ecstasy pills to their customers.
While the court acknowledged the confessions of the two co-defendants, the presiding judge declared the 30-year-old suspect as the criminal mastermind of the operation, who had established prosperity with the drug business, even if he did not admit it. He had a “tendency to drugs”, but the court doubted that this had driven him to action. According to the court documents, it was more likely that the man had decided to commit the crimes “because of his personality”.
The court ordered all three defendants to be held at a specific detention center for a certain period of time. The verdict largely corresponded to the demands of public prosecutor Alexander Fassel.