A 42-year-old man in Leipzig, Germany has been sentenced to over two years in prison for ordering a semi-automatic firearm and ammunition from the dark web to, allegedly, harm himself and possibly his family members.
After a police officer from Australia spotted something suspicious on the dark web, they immediately talked to the investigators of the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) in Germany.
The man claimed the gun he purchased was going to be used only for self-harm, but the police believe this is far from the truth.
The defendant is now serving a prison sentence of two years and seven months in Leipzig.
Tip from Australian Police
Back in May 2018, an Australian police officer tipped the German criminal investigators for a man named Matthias E.
The police officer who discovered the German officer was just doing his job as an undercover weapons dealer on the dark web. That is when the officer came across something suspicious.
In an email, Matthias E. told the Australian officer he needed to buy a shotgun, a silencer as well as 100 rounds of ammunition.
Matthias E. confessed that he needed the weapon to get revenge and attack a group of 12 Syrian men who he claimed raped his wife.
The authorities started looking for evidence right away, but their efforts were unsuccessful. No evidence was found to support the rape allegations, so the Australian police informed the local law enforcement about the dark web encounter.
Investigators Say Defendant Had a Troubled Family Life
After the German authorities learned about Matthias E., they found out that the man, before his dark web order, had split with his spouse.
Not only was he separated from his immediate family, due to his wife taking their two young sons away from Matthias E., but his son from his first marriage had also grown distant.
According to the police, this was a motive for Matthias E. to get revenge to at least one member of his family.
The German authorities had no doubt in mind Matthias E. planned to run riot.
After the arrest, his ex-wife was questioned and according to her, Matthias E. was never going to injure himself, but the family. In the initial reports, she said Matthias E. was bitter, bossy and had previously threatened her.
The Arrest and Sentence
For the arrest, the German police set up a trap. A BKA investigator arranged a meeting with the suspect at a local park called Sachsenpark on June 19, 2018.
The agreement between the purchaser and the cover agent included an in-person delivery of both the gun and the ammunition.
When the suspect met the dark web “vendor,” he was arrested right on the scene.
Since the day of his arrest, Matthias E. was held in custody. According to the defense, the man purchased the Glock 17 pistol worth €2,300 with an intention of suicide.
The prosecution, on the other hand, believed the defendant bought the weapon to assault and dangerously harm his family.
Matthias E was treated in a psychiatric hospital for three months after his imprisonment. Even though the defense tried to plead not guilty by a reason of insanity, the offender was not certified as so.
Correspondingly, the court’s final verdict was two years and seven months in prison. The Attorney General demanded a three-year prison term but the defense demanded parole.
Matthias E. is currently serving his sentence in jail in Leipzig.